- February 2015
"Is Airbnb for me?"
In September 2016 the above question was answered in the negative by the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) for Mrs. Iveta Nemcova.
She owned a 99-year Lease of a one bedroomed flat in Enfield, and occasionally let it out on short lettings mainly to business visitors working in London. The Lease contained a restriction not to use the premises “…………….for any purpose whatsoever other than as a private residence”. A similar restriction was contained in the leases of the other flats in the block. The freehold owner of the building and Landlord applied to the First Tier Tribunal (Lands Chamber) for a determination that Mrs. Nemcova had breached the restriction in the Lease because it was alleged the short-term lettings were using the flat otherwise than “as a private residence”. The First Tier found in favour of the Freeholder Landlord and Mrs. Nemcova appealed that decision.
On Appeal, it was found that the lettings which had taken place which were restricted to days or a few weeks at a time could not enable a short term tenant to be using the flat as a “private residence” and upheld the First Tier funding. The Judge said that each case would be “fact specific” and the final determination may vary from case to case but this decision does show clearly that short-term lettings would infringe a similarly drafted restrictive clause.
If you own a long lease and plan to sub-let it out on short or longer terms, it would be advisable to seek legal advice on any restrictions in the Lease which might thereby be infringed and put you at risk of costly enforcement proceedings by the Landlord.
Airbnb is a peer-to-peer online marketplace and homestay network enabling people to list or rent short-term lodging in residential properties, with the cost of such accommodation set by the property owner. The company receives percentage service fees from both guests and hosts in conjunction with every booking. It has over 2,000,000 listings in 34,000 cities and 191 countries. Airbnb was founded in August 2008, is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and is privately owned and operated.
This article provides only a general summary and is not intended to be comprehensive. Special legal advice should be taken in any individual situation.back to articles...