Using your annexe for an Air B’n’B, does this need planning permission?

This is a common question that NAPC receives and one where there is no clear-cut answer.


First of all, it is worth making it clear that if you have erected an outbuilding under permitted development for incidental purposes, you must use it for that purpose, especially in the short term. An incidental use does not allow you to include sleeping accommodation, this would also include using the outbuilding for an Air BnB initially.


However, if you have received planning permission for your outbuilding to be used for ancillary purposes ie an annexe, a use that can include sleeping accommodation, then you may be able to use it also for Air BnB.


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?


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


In addition, the use of the annexe should be for short periods, and 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. There should still remain and clear functional relationship between the annexe and the main dwelling.


If the annexe is going to be used solely for Air BnB 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 – restriction on 90 day lets per year, even if planning permission is not required
  • Home Insurance
  • Mortgage Lenders
  • Building Control

If you are thinking of earning some extra money by carrying out short-term Airbnb within an outbuilding at your property, or perhaps you are looking to regularise an existing Airbnb use,  then why not fill in the below form for an initial confidential discussion on how we can assist you.


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