Renting Out Your Home on AirBnB Without Legal Advice is a Grave Mistake
Many tenants who forego legal advice before subletting their homes to tourists and other short-term visitors do so in blissful ignorance that they may well be breaching the terms of their leases. That was certainly so in the case of a flat dweller whose use of AirBnB placed the roof over his head in jeopardy.
After receiving complaints from the man’s neighbours, his landlord took action before the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) and obtained a declaration under the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 that he had breached covenants in his lease. The decision opened the way for the landlord to seek forfeiture of the man’s tenancy.
The FTT found that he had sublet his flat on AirBnB without the landlord’s consent. That was also a breach of a requirement that he only use the premises as a private dwelling, occupied by one family. Unacceptable noise coming from the flat at anti-social hours was a nuisance to other tenants and the FTT also concluded that he had used the flat, or permitted it to be used, for illegal drug-taking.
Ruling on the tenant’s challenge to that outcome, the Upper Tribunal accepted that the FTT erred in making the latter finding in that the drug-taking allegation had not been formally placed before it. However, its other conclusions concerning the use made of the flat and the nuisance it caused could not be faulted. The tenant’s plea that the FTT hearing should have been adjourned, rather than taking place in his absence, also fell on fallow ground and his appeal was dismissed.