What Are the Legal Requirements for Holiday Lets?

There are several things you need to ensure you have in place when renting out a holiday property.

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A holiday let, also known as a vacation rental or holiday rental, is a type of accommodation that is rented out to travellers and tourists for short-term stays during their vacations or holidays.

Holiday lets can vary widely in terms of size and amenities, and they can include a range of accommodations such as:

  1. Holiday homes: These can be standalone houses, cottages, or cabins that are fully furnished and equipped for guests to stay in during their vacation.
  2. Apartments: Holiday apartments or condos are typically located in multi-unit buildings and provide a more compact and urban accommodation option.
  3. Villas: Villas are often larger and more luxurious properties, often with private amenities such as pools and gardens, and they are popular in many vacation destinations.
  4. Beach houses: These are vacation homes located near the beach or waterfront, providing guests with easy access to the sea.
  5. Chalets: Typically found in mountain or ski resort areas, chalets offer a cosy and rustic atmosphere for holidaymakers.

Holiday lets are typically rented on a short-term basis, ranging from a few days to several weeks, and they are an alternative to traditional hotels or resorts. They are often booked through online platforms and vacation rental websites, making it easier for travellers to find and reserve accommodations that suit their needs and preferences. Holiday lets can be a popular choice for families, groups of friends, or anyone looking for a more home-like environment during their vacation.

What Are the Legal Requirements for Holiday Lets in the UK?

The legal requirements for holiday lets in the UK can vary depending on the location and specific circumstances, but there are several key regulations and considerations that holiday let owners should be aware of:

Planning Permission

In some cases, you may need planning permission to use your property as a holiday let, especially if it involves a change of use from a residential property.

Regulations can vary by local authority, so it’s essential to check with your local planning department to determine whether you need permission.

An Annual Gas Safety Certification

“You are responsible for ensuring an annual gas safety check is carried out within 12 months of the installation of a new appliance or flue which you provide and annually thereafter by a Gas Safe Registered engineer”
– hse.gov.uk

Health and Safety

Owners of holiday lets are responsible for ensuring the safety and well-being of guests.

This includes

  • Providing information about emergency procedures
  • Contact details
  • And any specific safety instructions related to the property.

Building Regulations

Depending on the type of work carried out, renovations, or conversions, you may need to comply with building regulations.

This is especially relevant if you’re making significant changes to the property.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

You must provide an EPC for your holiday let property.

The EPC rates the energy efficiency of the property and provides information on potential energy-saving improvements.


It’s crucial to have appropriate insurance for your holiday let.

Standard home insurance may not cover short-term rentals, so you should consider specialised holiday let insurance to protect against potential damages or liabilities.


Income generated from holiday lets is subject to taxation.

In the UK, you may need to pay income tax on the rental income.

You should consult with a tax advisor or HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for guidance on tax obligations for holiday lets.

Short-Term Let Licence

Some areas, particularly in certain cities or tourist hotspots, may require a specific holiday let or short-term rental license.

Regulations can vary, so check with your local authority for any licensing requirements.

What do you need to know about Holiday Let Registration?

5-Year Electrical Test Certificate Undertaken by Professional

“The law says that you must make sure all your electrical installations are safe, and checked every 5 years”
– OVO Energy

Annual Chimney Sweeping

“HETAS encourage having your chimney swept at least twice a year when burning wood or bituminous house coal and at least once a year when burning smokeless fuels”

Fire Risk Assessment

It is advisable to provide interlinked smoke detectors on each floor and to provide a CO² detector, fire blanket, and smoke/heat alarms

A Fire Risk Assessment should be undertaken and a copy left in the property.

Access Statement

An access statement should be made available to guests to ensure the property is suitable for their needs before booking

The document should be clear and honest, and highlight any areas that could cause access issues for some visitors.

If you have concerns, we can help put all of the above in place

It’s important to note that regulations and requirements may change over time, and they can vary between different parts of the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland). Therefore, it’s essential to stay up-to-date with local regulations and seek legal advice or consult relevant government agencies when setting up and operating a holiday let to ensure compliance with all applicable laws.

“If you are planning to run a holiday let, it is crucial that you understand your legal obligations. Covering everything from fire safety to property insurance, there’s a number of legislations that you must adhere to, in order to ensure the safety of you, your guests, and potential employees.”
– Holiday Cottage Mortgages

If you’d like to know more about letting your property, check out the owner FAQ’s

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Still Have Questions?

Take a Look Below

Whether you’re looking for your dream Lake District cottageunhappy with your current letting agency, or you’re looking for holiday investment properties in the Lake District we can help. 

If there’s anything you’d like to know that we haven’t covered below, please let us know.

Owners Guide

How to Manage Existing Bookings when Changing holiday letting agent?

If you feel you would like to switch agents, this can be done in a seamless way. Our priority is that your guests are not affected in any way

What will happen when Holiday Let Registration starts?

Let's chat about Holiday Let Registration (so much fun!) It seemed to be in the distant future but, it’s now creeping up fast!

Best Places to Buy a Holiday Home in The Lake District

We get asked this question a lot and our initial response is almost always to buy somewhere in an area that you have an affinity with

How Many Weeks a Year Can You Live in A Holiday Home?

We have no restrictions on the number of weeks you can use as owners but do bear in mind that you could be eating into valuable income

What Should I Do To Ensure Guests Have A Memorable Stay?

Making sure your property is well furnished and well equipped can get you more lets, increase the rent level, and increase the returns

Average Income from Holiday Lets - How Much Can I Make?

Find out how much you can make from your holiday let.

What is the cost of running a holiday home?

Our service includes us being available to your guests at all times, 365 days a year and every evening in case of a problem

How Do I Advertise My Holiday Home?

Here are our top 5 things you can do as an owner to increase your presence online.

How Will You Advertise My Holiday Cottage?

Find out how we can help you market your holiday cottage. We aim to ensure good levels of bookings for all of our properties.

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