Renters and homeowners advertising on Airbnb could be breaching their contracts

Homeowners and renters alike are being urged to carefully check their leasehold and tenancy agreements before considering letting their property through Airbnb, or similar holiday lettings websites.

The news follows an Upper Tribunal decision that a London homeowner had breached the terms of her leasehold agreement, which stipulated that her home was to be used strictly as a “private residence/dwelling” only.

Experts have warned that the ruling could have widespread implications for private renters or owners of leasehold properties across the UK – and homeowners are now being urged to check their contracts very carefully, as unique and unusual clauses are often written into ownership contracts.

Homeowners are further advised that mortgage lenders are likely to take an unfavourable view of properties being used for short term lettings – and that such activity could be breaking the terms and conditions of their mortgage agreement.

Although buy-to-let mortgages may offer assured short term tenancy, many lenders will consider ‘short term’ to be a period of at least six months.

Furthermore, renters considering advertising their property on Airbnb are advised that this may be in breach of their tenancy agreement, and that they must obtain their landlord’s permission prior to sub-letting for holiday purposes.

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Nigel is the Managing Partner and Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution in the London office of Mackrell Turner Garrett.