If you want to let your house or apartment for short-term rentals during weekends or holidays, it is advised that you familiarise yourself with the Municipal Planning by-laws.
Property owners and letting agents must check if there are any restrictive provisions or clauses in their property title deeds that prohibit such letting of the property. They must also make sure they comply with the regulations before letting out their own homes as a guesthouse or bed and breakfast (B&B) or self-catering establishment.
Homeowners also have the responsibility to ensure that they understand the extent of these regulations.
Should the property be located within a group housing estate or residential building, then it is important to consult the rules and guidelines of the development or first seek approval from the Body Corporate or Homeowners’ Association.
Short-term rental is the letting of a room, rooms or a whole property be it a house, group house or flat to a transient guest, who has a permanent residence elsewhere, in return for payment. This includes the rooms of a guesthouse or B&B in a house.
In terms of municipal planning by-laws, the property owner who seeks to operate short-term holiday letting – irrespective of the platform facilitating such letting (including Airbnb, Booking.com or Lekkerslaap to name a few) – must ensure the property is appropriately zoned and have applied for consent from the municipality’s town planning department.
Overstrand Municipality permits two guest rooms to be rented on a short-term basis from single residential dwellings without any permission subject to compliance with conditions as specified in the Overstrand Municipality Land Use Scheme Regulations and if not in contradiction of the Title Deed conditions. Should more than two guest rooms be rented out then an application is required for a guest house up to a maximum of five bedrooms. Self-catering is a primary right under single residential zoning.
It should be noted that self-catering, B&Bs and Guest Houses each have their requirements and parameters in terms of the by-law.
Councillor Clinton Lerm as Mayco Member of Investment and Infrastructure said, “Renting out a room or house might seem like an easy way to generate some income, but when things go wrong there are huge consequences”.
He advised homeowners who are interested to provide short-term holiday accommodation rentals to contact the Town Planning Department in 16 Paterson Street, Hermanus as first port of call for any accommodation related applications. Alternatively contact them on 028 313 8900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.