Under the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1973, Londoners who want to rent out their homes for less than 90 consecutive nights, have to apply for planning permission from their borough council. A failure to obtain permission risks a fine of up to £20,000.
On 9 February 2015, the Department for Communities and Local Government published a policy statement detailing proposed reforms. It intends to permit short-term letting of residential premises in London for up to 90 days per calendar year. Using a 90 day cap means that properties cannot be used as temporary sleeping accommodation on a permanent basis, and any impact on local amenity should be kept within acceptable limits.
The reforms are intended to help the residential and tourism sector by expanding the pool of competitively priced accommodation in London. This measure will exclude commercial premises.