Use of Music in Short-Term Let Accommodation – ASSC Announce Significant Changes to the Discretionary Exemptions

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After well over a year of negotiations with PPL / PRS,  we are pleased to announce some significant changes to the discretionary exemptions. The team who carried out the negotiations consisted of the ASSC alongside the Professional Association of Self-Caterers (PASC UK), The Tourism Alliance and UK Hospitality (England).

Any business with three or less properties of any size on a single site will now be exempt (previously it was a single property with three bedrooms or less). This will make a huge difference for vast swathes of the sector.

Fiona Campbell, CEO ASSC says: “We’re absolutely delighted to share such a positive outcome with our members which will make a considerable difference to many. Having worked on this for such a long time, we are pleased with the pragmatic and proportionate approach that has been taken and to have been able to work in collaboration with PPL PRS, the Tourism Alliance, Professional Association of Self-Caterers (PASC UK) and UK Hospitality (England).”

PPL PRS choose not to charge a royalty for the use of music (including TV and radio) in self-catering apartment(s) or holiday cottage(s) etc. where all of the following criteria is met:

  • The accommodation consists of three self-catering units* or fewer, irrespective of the number of bedrooms in each.
  • The premises is the sole holiday let, self-catering apartments, holiday cottage business operated or owned by the proprietors
  • Facilities are only available to resident guests (and, in the case of holiday premises, the proprietors)

The fee structure is based upon the Small Residential Hotels and Guest House Tariff. We did not manage to get a dedicated Self-Catering Tariff, although we are still working on this.

We have example case studies of what charges might look like for larger business, which are considerably less than some of the charges previously levied. For example, an operator with 4 properties in a single site would be paying £61.77.

PRS Higher Rate Royalty:

If an operator has not applied for and obtained PRS for Music’s licence before musical performances commence, a higher (standard rate plus 50%) royalty rate will be charged and payable for the first year of the licence. After the first year of the licence, the standard royalty rate will be charged and payable.

We have negotiated an ‘amnesty’ for the first-year surcharge of 50%, if operators proactively contact PPL/PRS and pay before the end of March 2023. For this to apply you will need to contact PPL/PRS as described below and pay by 31 March 2023. If a non-exempt operator proactively contacts PRS PPL and applies and pays for a licence before 31 March 2023, PRS PPL have agreed to waive the 50% surcharge. Quote PPLPRSMAR23.  You will need to proactively contact PRS PPL for this to be applied.

PRS PPL can be contacted, and licences applied for via their website or by phone on 08000 720 808.

Full details of the exemptions and FAQS can be found here

Guidance updated 18.01.23