Jersey set to clamp down on holiday lets

UK: The government in Jersey is planning to look into short-term holiday lets that may not have proof of planning permission.

The government is concerned with the increase of short-term holiday lets at a time when there is increased demand for affordable housing in communities around Europe and there is growing competition for supply.

The minister for Housing and Communities, Deputy David Warr, told the BBC of his surprise at the extent of the issue when “an affordable housing supply is so desperately needed”.

Under the Planning and Building Law, short-term holiday lets are considered a “development”, which requires owners to have planning permission to list their properties as holiday rentals. However, it is claimed that many units were never granted it.

Meanwhile, Jersey’s Bridging Island Plan, which details the planning framework for Jersey, supports proposals that improve the quality and range of accommodation offerings for tourists and visitors. Despite this, it does not support the conversion of existing dwellings into holiday lets.

Deputy Jonathan Renouf, Minister for the Environment in the Council of Masters, said that applying for planning permission allowed the merits of a potential short-term let to be tested against the policies of the Bridging Island Plan.

He added: “It is troubling to learn that there appears to be a high number of properties being used for short-term lets without having been through this process of evaluation.”

Renouf explained that some people may simply not be aware of the rules and urged islanders to act now to follow the rules or stop listing their units on the market.

The government insists that it will initiate routine checks on properties listed on holiday letting websites, while warning that action will be taken where necessary.