Airbnb – a breach of your Lease?

Airbnb App on phone

Airbnb App on phoneImage © Mohammedsoliman4 | – Airbnb App Photo

Airbnb is the world’s biggest accommodation-sharing site and it has quickly become a household name; it was used as a central plot device in recent weeks in the latest series of TV show Cold Feet, for example.

But, if you are thinking of renting a room or whole property through this service or a similar one – have you thought about where you stand legally?

If you own a flat, it is extremely important to be aware of the implications of the covenants in your Lease and to ensure these are complied with.

Recent Case Law

A recent case highlighted the importance of this: in Nemcova v Fairfield Rents (2016) a covenant in the property’s Lease prevented use of the flat other than as ‘a private residence’.

The Tenant lived in the flat about 3 or 4 days a week and then let the flat out for about 90 days per year.

The question the Upper Tribunal (UT) faced was whether letting the flat out through websites such as Airbnb was a breach of this covenant.

The UT held that the tenant had breached the covenant. In granting very short term lettings, there was no degree of permanence to be considered as a private residence.

So, is Airbnb a Breach of Your Lease?

It depends on the covenants contained in your lease, but if you are considering using Airbnb or a similar service it is certainly worth checking, particularly as the covenant mentioned in the case above is not unusual; similar covenants are found in many Leases.

It’s also worth noting that although each case will of course have its own facts, it seems likely that the above case will be relied on in other cases with similar circumstances.

Next Steps

If you are thinking of using Airbnb or a similar service it is essential that you check your Lease for relevant covenants and ensure you understand any implications.

Should you have any queries on Leases, or property related questions in general, please do contact our Property Team who will be happy to advise you.

Eastbourne 01323 727321

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