Landlords must keep track of the rise of short-term lets trend

by Gary Whittaker

Landlords across the UK who have experience in the PRS will be aware of the problems that can be caused through things like subletting, where a tenant lets out a part of the property, often without permission. As a result, many will be well versed in terms of looking out for this and how to mitigate against it. However, a new type of subletting has emerged in recent years, and it's vital that agents and landlords are stringent in keeping track of the rise of short-term lets. 

Websites such as Airbnb have become popular in the last few years, largely because they allow property owners to make decent amounts of money in a short period of time. However, its popularity has also meant a swelling in the number of cases of subletting. 

Tenants are using Airbnb, said Landlord Action, to rent out their properties without checking that they are allowed to do so under the terms and agreements of their tenancy. In many cases, this could invalidate the agreement and lead to eviction, as well as causing problems for landlords due to breaches of their own mortgage agreements and insurance policies.

Landlord Action said that in the past few years, the rise of sites such as Airbnb has meant the number of tenants who choose to sublet a property without first checking with their landlord to make sure it is allowed has trebled. 

The company's founder Paul Shamplina said it is a growing problem, and that tenants who do so are simply profiteering off someone else's assets. 

"We have seen cases where, quite clearly, tenants are making thousands of pounds from exploiting the service to a high volume of holiday makers on a weekly basis. In a recent case, it was thought that more than 300 people stayed in a landlord’s property in one year, unbeknown to the landlord," he said. 

"As well as damage to properties, landlords have received complaints from block managers with regards to being in breach of their head lease and unhappy neighbours in relation to anti-social behaviour, and that’s before considering issues regarding HMO licensing and possible invalidation of insurance and mortgage terms," Mr Shamplina concluded. 

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21-April-16Legal News