Laura Rowe, Conveyancing Executive in Coodes Solicitors’ Residential Property team outlines some of the legal considerations if you are considering using Airbnb to let out your property.
“Airbnb has just announced plans to enforce a 90 day limit on short-term lets in London, amid claims that it is contributing to the capital’s housing crisis. This will bring the rules of the fast-growing accommodation hub in line with UK law, which does not permit landlords to let out homes on short term lets for more than 90 days without planning permission.
“This is just the latest Airbnb development to have made news headlines. A recent case that was not as widely reported could have serious implications and consequences for the growing trend of using properties as Airbnb. The case (Nemcova v Fairfield Rents Ltd) ruled that the owner of a flat had breached the covenant on private residence after advertising the flat through sites such as Airbnb, and then granting a series of short term lettings.
“Many premises are bought and sold subject to covenants, most of which are straightforward. However, the covenant not to use the property other than as a private residence has often been the subject of debate and interpretation amongst legal professionals.
“In this recent case, the First Tier Tribunal held that the covenant on ‘private residence’ has been breached as the occupants would not be using the flat as a home and would therefore be using the flat ‘other than as a private residence’. On appeal, the Upper Tribunal withheld the decision stated that the wording of the covenant was important: use as ‘a’ private residence could not be determined as people can have more than one residence at any given time. The length of the tenancy was material in deciding that a breach of covenant had occurred – renting ‘tenancies’ for a weekend or a few days doesn’t suggest the level of permanence associated with the use of the flat as ‘a private residence’.
“Airbnb now has 2 million properties listed in nearly 200 countries. If you are one of a growing number of people considering using Airbnb to rent out a property, make sure you understand the legal pitfalls.”
For further advice and assistance on buying or selling a property, contact Laura Rowe in Coodes Solicitors Falmouth office on 01326 318900 or firstname.lastname@example.org