December 2016

Leases – AirBnB and Short-Term Letting Problems

Leasehold flats and short-term AirBnB type lettings have recently hit the headlines, with concerns that the substantial windfall from letting a room on a nightly basis may well be contributing to the housing shortage in London.

Even as a freeholder there are pitfalls around short-term lettings, including the number of nights you are allowed to rent your property for in one year (90 days in London) and the possibility that your insurer or mortgage lender may object.

For Flat owners, there are additional risks and potential dangers.

Flat owners should carefully check the terms of their lease (and probably also the terms of their mortgage) or ask a solicitor to do so on their behalf before letting rooms in this way.

The Upper Tribunal has recently considered these issues in a number of cases.

In an Airbnb case (Nemcova v Fairfields), the Lease contained a covenant not to permit the flat to be used “…for any purpose whatsoever other than a private residence”.

The Judge found that letting short-term to tourists and other visitors through Airbnb was as a use other than as a private residence and that the Leaseholder was therefore in breach of the terms of the lease.