Is an Airbnb letting safe?

Many homeowners earn additional income by letting out property that they own or rent on a short-term basis via websites such as Airbnb. It is a simple idea in that the service connects people who want to rent out their homes with people who are looking for accommodation in that locality.

We have reported in earlier newsletters of the problems faced by flat owners who have used the Airbnb facility. It is very important for a flat owner to check the terms of their lease to ensure that such letting, even on a short-term basis, does not breach the obligations contained in the lease.

If a lease states that there should be no business use at the property or only the tenant and their family should live at the property, an Airbnb letting will contravene the terms of the lease.

Flat owners might decide to take the risk, but problems tend to arise if the people renting the property cause noise or a nuisance e.g. by having loud parties. This can prompt complaints from neighbouring flat owners.

The problem has been highlighted again in a recent case. In this instance, it was a council flat which the tenant was letting out to tourists. The tenant had set up a fake identity on Airbnb and had received payments for a number of years. The council discovered the letting and evicted the tenant. In addition, he was ordered to pay over £100,000. Council and social landlords have made it clear that they are carrying out checks on properties to ensure that lease terms are not being breached.

Anyone who rents a flat on a short-term basis is also likely to be in breach of their lease if they sublet it.

It is important therefore for anyone looking to rent out their property to take proper advice before they do so to check that they are not in breach of the terms of their lease as they could be making an expensive mistake.

To discuss this or any property related matter contact us.

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