Posts with tag: short-term lets

Short-Term Lets May be Breaching Leases

Published On: October 21, 2016 at 8:49 am


Categories: Property News

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Millions of property owners using Airbnb and other websites for short-term lets may be breaching their lease terms, according to a recent ruling by the Upper Tribunal – a superior court with equivalent status to the High Court.

The ruling, which may set a precedent, was made after a lady fell out with her neighbours in a development in north London after letting her flat via Airbnb and other similar sites.

Residents asked the freeholder of the block to act, and the case went to court.

Short-Term Lets May be Breaching Leases

Short-Term Lets May be Breaching Leases

Judge Stuart Bridge, who was overseeing the case, ruled: “In order for a property to be used as the occupier’s private residence, there must be a degree of permanence going beyond being there for a weekend or a few nights in the week.

“Granting very short-term lettings (days and weeks rather than months) […] necessarily breaches the covenant [not to use the property as anything other than a private residence].”

Set up in San Francisco in 2008, Airbnb now has over two million homes and rooms available for rent around the world. This new ruling potentially means that thousands of UK Airbnb residents of leasehold properties who have leases that state the property must be used as a private residence may now be prevented from renting out their homes for short-term lets.

Bernard Clarke, the spokesperson for the Council of Mortgage Lenders, comments: “Most lenders do not allow borrowers to offer short-term lets on their properties, whether on an owner-occupier or buy-to-let mortgage.”

Additionally, the Manager of Transactional Liability at Pii, Adam Keith, explains his views on the case: “This new ruling could potentially prevent a vast number of property owners in leasehold properties from conducting short-term lets. This is particularly an issue in London, where there is a large number of leasehold properties and a growing demand for short lets from tourists, contractors, casual workers and overseas students.

“Any investors, buy-to-let landlords or homeowners considering taking advantage of the Airbnb market should think hard about the legal implications. They may find that they are restricted to longer-term rentals and may fall foul of the law if they become Airbnb hosts. This has real repercussions and, in the very worst case scenarios, could result in the forfeiture of the lease and the loss of the property.”

He insists: “The implications of this new ruling are significant. Not only is there the potential that mortgage companies may pull the finance in the event of a lease breach, but insurers may refuse to pay any claims. If property owners fail to tell their insurers that they are letting out their property on short-term lets, their insurance could be potentially null and void.

“In essence, property owners who fail to inform their buildings and contents insurer about their short-term lets are potentially putting their property at risk. Should a claim need to be made for the building itself or the contents, the owner may be in for a big shock. There is a high likelihood that the insurer will refuse the claim.”

He adds: “Though Airbnb does provide limited insurance for damages up to £600,000, there is no cover for household contents, building insurance or breaches of the lease. If Airbnb hosts are concerned about their cover, they should contact their insurers.”

If you rent out your property on Airbnb or other websites, be aware of the new ruling.

Short-Term Let Horror Stories Highlight Importance of Lettings Market

Published On: June 17, 2016 at 11:33 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,

Horror stories from landlords and tenants using short-term lets websites highlight the security provided by the traditional lettings market, insists the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC).

The organisation claims that landlords who let via traditional methods have more opportunities to reduce their chances of being hit with hefty repair bills when tenants leave.

In the past year, a number of high-profile stories have been reported regarding people who let through short-term lets websites, whose properties have been trashed by tenants.

One landlord, Nigel Broome, ended up with a damage bill of £12,000 after letting his southeast London flat through Airbnb. Broome claimed that his tenants held a New Year’s Eve party in his property, which led to holes in the walls, broken furniture and ruined floors.

The Chair of the AIIC, Patricia Barber, says: “No one can deny the success of outlets like Airbnb and there is clearly a strong demand for this type of accommodation. However, there seems to be an increasing number of rental horror stories surrounding this type of let being reported, and those who choose to offer their properties through these sites on a regular basis could be leaving

Short-Term Let Horror Stories Highlight Importance of Lettings Market

Short-Term Let Horror Stories Highlight Importance of Lettings Market

themselves open to hefty bills.”

Barber also knows of one tenant who rented a four-bedroom house for £3,000 per month through a short-term lets website.

The tenant was horrified to find that the oven and fridge were not working, the garden was overgrown, the conservatory had no glazing and the property was in a generally poor condition. Barber argues that the checks and procedures that those letting through these websites have to conduct are minimal, leading to some properties that are not fit for purpose being rented out.

Homeowners who let through sites like Airbnb are required to check their mortgage contract and ask permission from their lender before doing so.

Prospective short-term landlords must also check their insurance policy to ensure they are covered. Additionally, they are required to carry out a fire risk assessment and have gas safety checks every 12 months.

Most short-term lets websites offer terms, information and guidance for landlords, but they do make it clear that users must take it upon themselves to ensure they are not breaking any laws or regulations.

Barber explains: “When you compare the required checks, legislation and measures short-term landlords are required to adhere to with those carried out by someone letting through traditional channels, it’s clear there is a big difference. Tenants booking short-term lets through the internet may benefit from more flexible terms and potentially cheaper rents, but there’s no guarantee they’ll be as well protected.”

Those who let through short-term lets websites do not have to comply with mandatory deposit protection and tenancy agreement rules, and Barber believes they are highly unlikely to reference tenants before letting to them.

The AIIC states that it is measures like these that protect landlords and tenants when issues arise at the end of a tenancy.

Barber says: “It’s clear that the traditional lettings route offers more security and stability for landlords, although that’s not to say there are no risks of property damage when letting this way.”

The AIIC adds that the hefty bills received by landlords letting properties through short-term lets websites highlight the value of an inventory for anyone renting out property.

Barber concludes: “Some level of damage or wear and tear is always likely to occur during a tenancy, but a professionally-compiled inventory helps to cover landlords against damage caused by tenants. An inventory can also help to provide landlords with peace of mind throughout the duration of the tenancy.”

Short-term lets on the increase

Published On: June 23, 2015 at 2:33 pm


Categories: Landlord News

Tags: ,,

Short term lets appear to be on the rise, according to a new survey from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

Research from the organisation suggests that 26% of letting agents have experienced an increase in the number of enquiries for short period lets.


With both Wimbledon and the British Grand Prix approaching and with the summer (supposedly!) in full-swing, the number of short-term lets is sure to rise still further.

Short-term lets are classed as under 90 days and offer many advantages to landlords, such as a quick income and for the tenant, an alternative to hotels. There are however a number of legal requirements that must be adhered to in order to comply with the law.


Homeowners looking to let their property out for a short period of time should follow these pieces of advice in order to ensure compliance and a smooth tenancy:

  • check mortgage and tenancy agreements to make sure it is permitted that the property can be rented
  • use an approved agent to look after the letting process. This will also ensure that all legislation is being adhered to
  • make sure that the property is in a good condition, with no clutter, clean and with no damage
  • check that all furniture complies with health and safety legislation. Safety checks will have to be carried out before a property is allowed to be let
  • arrange with someone trustworthy to visit the property during the period and perform duties such as cleaning and changing bed sheets.
Short-term lets on the increase

Short-term lets on the increase

David Cox, Managing Director at the Association of Residential Letting Agents said,’ short term lets can be hugely beneficial for both parties. A short let can also be a more profitable option as you may be able to charge a higher rent than you would if you were letting a property out full time. We’ve already seen a massive rise in the number of enquiries for short term lets and with the rising popularity of websites like Airbnb this is only going to continue. Landlords looking to let their property out short-term should follow our simple tips to ensure they’re following best practice. Being a landlord is a full time job, not a hobby – even short term lets. So it’s worth working with a reputable ARLA Licensed agent, who can take the ‘job’ aspect out of it; allowing you to reap the rewards.[1]


Short-term lets to tourists slammed

Published On: October 31, 2014 at 4:28 pm


Categories: Landlord News

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New proposals from the Government allowing landlords to offer short-term lets to tourists have been slammed by a leading M.P.

Labour MP Dame Tessa Jowell warned that these new plans could be extremely damaging to the already fragile rental market.

Currently, landlords wishing to let-out their properties for a short period must achieve permission from their local council. The council’s decision will come after they have weighed-up the request against the need to provide longer-term lets for residential tenants.

Short-term lets to tourists slammed

Short-term lets to tourists slammed


Planning permission regulations were introduced in the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1973. Earlier in 2014, the rules, still in place despite the break-up of the Greater London Council in 1986, were described as, ‘unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy’ by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

A debate this week will seek to utilise legislation in order to abolish the rules. Leading ministers are concerned that there are too many inconsistencies in how many boroughs apply and then enforce the regulations.


Dame Jowell said that it was, ‘scandalous that the Government is prepared willfully to shrink further the supply of privately rented houses and flats.’[1] She went on to say that, the Government should be reforming private renting to give better protection to tenants, not encouraging landlords to turn rented properties into what are in effect unlicensed hotels.’[1]

Jowell believes that a large number of private rented tenants are being, ‘exploited by landlords constantly bringing in new tenants so they can raise rents.’[1]

The new plans, Jowell continues, ‘will make this problem worse-reducing the supply of stable rented homes and further destabilising local communities.’[1]

An alternative proposition from Jowell is that ministers should enlist councils with more powers to outline local rules. This, she feels, would serve the needs of communities, as well as meeting tourist letting demands.