Does using your annexe as an Airbnb require planning permission?

Does using your annexe as an Airbnb require planning permission?

This is a frequent question we get asked. Read on to find out the answers to this question, and more.

If you have erected an outbuilding under permitted development for incidental purposes, you must use it for that purpose. In the short term at least.  An incidental use does not allow you to use an Annexe as an Airbnb, as it would not include sleeping accommodation.  This includes outbuildings or annexes that have been created as a garden room, home office or home gym.

That said, if you have received Planning Permission for your outbuilding to be used for Ancillary purposes ie, an Annexe with sleeping accommodation, then you may be able to use your annexe as an Airbnb, also.  It all comes down to a matter of fact and degree and the intensity of the use; will the use of the outbuilding go beyond ancillary and therefore result in a change of use?

Using your annexe as an Airbnb; Does this need planning permission?

The intensity of use should not result in a change in the residential character of the planning unit. You would need to avoid lots of comings and goings, car movements or issues with parking.  These are the issues likely to impact neighbours and their amenities, beyond what can be expected from regular residential use.

In addition, the use of the annexe should be for short periods.  It would be expected that the owners of the property would also use the annexe in-between stays, perhaps for their own family and friends to stay. Using the annexe in this way could therefore be acceptable. Carry out some research and look into other properties being used this way on the Airbnb website.

There should still remain and clear functional relationship between the annexe and your main dwelling for it to remain ancillary.  No fencing should be put up to separate parking, access points or entrances.


If the annexe is going to be used solely for Airbnb purposes or a holiday rental then it is likely that permission will be required, and each Local Planning Authority will have its own specific tourism policies which will need to be complied with.

Other things to be aware of:

  • London Councils  have arestriction on 90-day lets per year, even if planning permission is not required
  • Home Insurance
  • Mortgage Lenders
  • Building Control

Further reading

So if you are thinking of earning some extra money using your annexe as an Airbnb on a short-term basis. Or are looking to regularise an existing Airbnb use, get in touch for an initial discussion to see how we can assist you. Use the contact details below to get in touch with our team.

We have several other blogs in the Blog section of our website that will be of interest if you are just beginning to learn about annexes.  Here are a few that will help should you be planning an annexe in the short to medium term:

If you are thinking of buying a home with the intention of building an annexe, this blog will come in useful: Buying a home with an annexe in mind 

The consumer site ‘Which’ also has a blog on this, click here to find out more.

What to do when your planning permission gets refused also contains some useful information as a starting point. In addition, we have lots of our recent planning projects featured in the Projects section of our website, which can be found here.


Get an answer quicker with a Feasibility Study

A one-off Feasibility Study (from £99) will equip you with crucial planning insight about the area you’re planning to site your Annexe or Garden Room. So if you pursue your application, you have the best chance of success. 

Prefer to talk to a planning expert in person?

Book a call with one of our planning experts or call/email us directly.

Phone number

01285 283200


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