The government intends to abolish outdated rules, originally introduced in the 1970s, that prevent London homeowners from renting out their houses on a short-term basis to visitors.
Under the current laws - established under the Greater London Council (GLC) 40 years ago - residents of the capital who want to rent out homes for less than three months still need to apply for planning permission from their local council. This rule does not apply to any other area of country.
These outdated regulations really came to light during the 2012 Olympics as they were not consistently enforced across London, with different boroughs taking their own stances.
By introducing new measures in the deregulation bill, the government will give those residing in London the freedom to rent out their homes on a temporary basis without having to face endless red tape.
However, there will be some restrictions introduced to stop homes being turned into hostels or hotel, as to do this would require ‘change of use’ planning permission. Communities secretary Eric Pickles said there would be measures enforced to prevent abuse of the new regulations or the permanent loss of a home.
According to Mr Pickles, the reforms will not only benefit the capital’s already strong tourism industry, but will also help families earn some extra money while they themselves are on holiday.
He added: “It’s time to change the outdated, impractical and restrictive laws from the 1970s, open up London’s homes to visitors and allow Londoners to make some extra cash.”
“The internet is changing the way we work and live, and the law needs to catch up. We have already reformed the rules on renting out your unused parking spaces, now we want to do the same regarding renting out your home for a short period.”
In addition, these changes to the law will make it easier for residents to rent out unutilised parking spaces on their property to raise extra money, which will in turn increase the number of parking options for the hundreds of thousands of commuters that make their way to the centre of London every day.