April 2024

What are the changes to holiday letting as outlined in the recent UK budget and how do they affect us?


If you’re already letting a holiday property or if you’re considering it as a new venture, there are some changes to the lettings landscape that will be worth knowing about as 2024 (and 2025) unfold. So, eyes wide open and guest books at the ready, this is our Bloom Stays cheat sheet you need to make holiday letting work for you now.

Holiday letting in the UK since the end of the Covid 19 pandemic has been a rollercoaster of a ride. As the demand for British breaks soared during 2020- 21, holidaymakers were re-discovering self-catering holidays and wondering why they’d forgotten them in the first place. Since then accommodation providers, from campsites to castles, have enjoyed a boom time and digital ‘hosts’ such as Airbnb have cornered the market encouraging everyone to have a go at letting a room, apartment, annexe or whole house. Seemingly we can all go anywhere, on a whim, at any time. And we can all be ‘hosts’ and maximise our assets in property.

This newfound freedom has also led to a slew of disappointed tourists and in some cases, accommodation falling below what could be considered as standard. As time has progressed, those providing accommodation are finding that being hosts is not as simple as it looked and many, with full-time, ‘return to the office’ jobs simply don’t have the time to devote to it. Like all those lockdown puppies, letting your property requires more time, effort, energy and engagement than many have and would like to give. 

So what does the self-catering, holiday let sector need to offer guests now and how can it continue to thrive?  How can it adapt to greater regulation and scrutiny in these changed, and straightened times? Not everyone is happy to navigate these new waters alone and for those who aren’t, then we, as holiday let professionals need to step in to help steer that boat. Following the advice here means you’ll really be waving and not drowning.

Why use a professional lettings agency over Airbnb-style ‘DIY’ listings online?

Choosing to work with a professional holiday lettings agency comes with a clear set of advantages which going solo does not. 


You’re buying a team of professionals. Holiday let agencies draw on a multitude of skills across the business in order to boost your business. Marketing, PR, digital expertise, photography and videography, copywriting, destination research and resources that plug you into the wider local tourism business are all managed in-house and by using an agency you open up all that expertise to your advantage. 


House proud, house pride. Good holiday letting agencies will want to show off your houses’ best side. You may think no one notices the cupboard under the stairs, or the wires hanging off the TV but we do. Not only is our health and safety knowledge up to date on everything from hot tub to fire safety, but we can see exactly what a guest wants to see. No clutter, cleanliness and an organised home are all top of guests’ expectations, so we advise our owners accordingly when it comes to preparing their house or houses. 

For us at Bloom Stays, we don’t often work with houses as they are when we walk in. We advise on interior and exterior changes if we feel that those would boost the profitability – and the likeability of the house. It may be a set of new cushions or a full house re-paint; it could be replacing all the house linen and starting again with new duvets and pillows. We count the number of coffee cups and mugs in a cupboard just to make sure everyone has at least one (you’d be surprised how many houses don’t have enough and sharing mugs isn’t our idea of a relaxing holiday). In short, we do the details so you don’t have to. We want our houses to be simple to use by our guests and easy to manage for the owners without compromising on style alongside some luxury touches.


Bookings made simpler. Think keeping up with your family diary is stressful? Try arranging – and re-arranging guest bookings when the inevitable cancellations, postponements and plain old no-shows knock on the door. By giving that work to an agent you’re free to check-in on the bookings as regularly as you like but it’s not your job to manage the day-to-day. Leaving you free to manage all that lost PE kit, relatives’ hospital appointments and chasing up the sofa delivery, or ‘life’ as we call it.


Focus on Finance. The best holiday letting agents are problem solvers first and foremost especially when it comes to the ‘f word’ they want to make sure an owners’ investment is protected. Behind the scenes, a good holiday let agency team talks about booking patterns from dawn till dusk seven days a week and not because they have nothing else to do. By giving them your property to let you are also giving them control of the purse strings and they know that their decisions on price will directly affect your return. Their experience of the local market, of seasonal booking trends and even the vagaries of the weather will be constantly on their minds as they set – and re-set – the daily, weekly and seasonal prices for the properties they manage. Applying this knowledge can make the difference for owners between a profit from their property or lettings loss.

What to look for in a holiday lettings agency?

Local knowledge. If you’re a county or two away from your holiday hot spot, then this is the time to draw down some local knowledge. Your agency should know where the best ice creams are as well as a plumber, sparky and decorator to get that work done before you can say ‘cone or waffle’. 

National thinking, local application. Any agency worth its salt is thoroughly networked within its industry. Look for membership of PASC (The Professional Association of Self-Catering providers), the industry body which represents its members nationally. Membership means that they take their role in their local economy seriously and through its regular meetings they keep up to date with trends that are being seen across the country. This soggy island, geographically diverse as it is, is small compared to our European and North American neighbours. It’s likely that patterns seen in one part of the country will be repeated somewhere else in the future so if your agency has its eye on the ball, it will keep up and stay informed.

Nicky and Rowena, Bloom Stays Holiday Letting Agency
The beach house at Sandgate

They love being seen. Anyone can access your property details from any corner of the earth on their phone or tablet so making sure your holiday let provider is using and managing its presence on as many different marketing channels as it chooses is a wise strategy. Somewhat confusingly, this may include them marketing your property on Airbnb. This is not unusual, or unwise on their part. They’re looking for as many people as possible to see your property and will often work with partners to share their houses with. Those are trusted relationships they have built, often over many years, so do ask holiday let agents who they use and why they chose them. 

Greater regulations: The changing face of holiday letting in 2024.

The changes announced by the joint government departments (DCMS and DLUHC) in February 2024 are around a new registration system plus the possible need for all new potential holiday let owners to obtain planning permission before they change the use of a property from, for example, a residential home to a holiday let. Where local English councils choose to implement this change, it will be granted by them from ‘summer 2024

Why now?

Since the Covid 19 pandemic there has been a huge number of new properties coming on the market across the UK. Local councils have been under some pressure now to map out where those properties are, their numbers and density. This new system of registration will require homeowners to acquire a registration number and some councils may require them to apply for planning permission for a change of use of the property from (for example) a residential property to a holiday let.

Bloom Stays welcomes this new regulation and registration scheme as it will potentially improve the whole holiday letting industry for tourists and guests.  As we understand it, to be registered all holiday let owners will be required to do is prove that their property meets all the necessary safety requirements. This move should formalise what has been a pretty informal process until now. 

I am really interested in holiday letting a property this year. What does this mean for me now?

As we don’t yet know when the registration scheme will launch, predicting when these changes will happen is tricky. However, as you’d expect, we’re a member of our industry-representing Association, PASC (Professional Association of Self Catering) and they predict that Councils are more likely to be given the right to levy planning permission fees before the registration scheme comes into view.

As far as we know to date, councils will be given the right to charge a planning permission fee for the change of use from a residential to a holiday let property. They don’t have to implement this change (some may not) so it will be worth checking if the council covering your holiday let is taking this up. 

Inevitably the registration scheme will take longer to implement as it will require some online investment, training and awareness raising from the central government. 

So where does this leave you?  We would advise pushing ahead with your plans to start holiday letting regardless of these impending industry changes. Through our careful ‘hand holding’ consultancy we offer to any new owner joining Bloom Stays, we can talk you through exactly how to launch your property, what you’ll need to do and how to meet every current legal requirement. Our market knowledge is second to none so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re considering holiday letting at any point.


How will Bloom Stays help me navigate this new process?

We’ll keep reviewing our processes as we learn more about the registration process and the planning permission requirements. As they become clearer we’ll know how best to support new owners through this process.

As the leading self-catering agency in Kent and Sussex Bloom Stays can help speed up the process of getting a holiday let property up and running. Our expertise and experience mean we can advise on every aspect of letting from fire safety to hot tubs, renovation of out buildings to tax requirements. If you are keen to get a property listed with us before these new regulations become legal requirements then we’re happy to help you move quickly towards your goal.


Will this have any benefits for the self-catering market in Kent and Sussex?

We think we’re quite lucky here in Kent and Sussex as an over-supply of holiday lets is not the problem that it reportedly is elsewhere in the UK, and we have a balanced picture when it comes to tourism. 

Obviously, there’s no denying the popularity of holiday letting in coastal areas such as Whitstable and Broadstairs where the market is well established, but there are other areas, both coastal and rural, where holiday letting is relatively new and for now, a useful addition to the local accommodation map. 

The proximity of Kent to London means our Bloom Stays guests are drawn from the capital to the garden of England for weekends or short breaks. Kent also attracts overseas visitors travelling en route to the rest of the UK with its excellent rail, road, air and ferry links. The main benefit a robust registration scheme will have will be to formalise the letting process amongst owners and perhaps weed out those who are less attentive to the health and safety requirements already in place. 

Our guests already understand that using a well-established agency such as ourselves gives peace of mind that everything has been set up properly and our reputation is based on offering houses to let that meet our already demanding standards

Thinking of investing in a holiday let as a new owner? What you need to know now.

  • Make sure you are aware of the current regulatory requirements. Bloom Stays can help and guide you if unsure.
  • Invest in good quality furniture and finishings to maximise your return on investment.
  • Spend some time researching agencies to find the best fit for you and your holiday home. Big isn’t always better…. and smaller independent agencies offer a far more personal service, yet have all the tools to make your holiday home a profitable business.


If you’re unsure about any of the above and would like one of our team members to shed some light, give us a call on 01227903404 or email hello@bloomstays.com and our team will be happy to talk to you.