Moore on short-term letting

In upholding an enforcement notice directed at the short-term letting of a large house in Warwickshire (DCS Number 400-023-651) an inspector addressed the appellant’s claim that no material change of use had occurred.

The appellant cited the court of appeal judgment, Moore v SSCLG 2012. The inspector recorded that in that case a large house was rented out through a company for short-term holiday lets. The court found that “whether the use of a dwellinghouse for commercial letting as holiday accommodation amounts to a material change of use will be a question of fact and degree in each case, and the answer will depend upon the particular characteristics of the use as holiday accommodation. Neither of the two extreme propositions — that using a dwellinghouse for commercial holiday lettings will always amount to a material change of use, or that use of a dwellinghouse for commercial holiday lettings can never amount to a change of use — is correct.”

In the context of Moore, the inspector remarked that the question to be answered was whether the character of the use of the dwellinghouse as a private residence had been changed so substantially as to amount to a material change of use. She noted that the property could sleep up to 23 people and that it was advertised for events for up to 50 people. Thus, she reasoned, the use was not confined to what might be considered as a typical holiday leisure break for small family groups and it was clearly directed at large groups. Moreover, the evidence indicated that there was a regular pattern of bookings for the property. Based on the evidence, the inspector concluded that there was a definable change in the character of the use made of the appeal site as an events venue, which was significantly different in character compared to the lawful use as a dwellinghouse. The intensity and nature of the use for events, she decided, went well beyond that which might reasonably be expected of a lawful dwellinghouse use.

Section 9.5 of DCP Online relates to self-catering holiday accommodation.