Short term lets – can/should you rent your property on Airbnb?
Posted on 08.08.2018
Renting out your property on Airbnb is an attractive proposition for many people at this time of year, as they seek to off-set some of their holiday costs with rental income. But from a property management perspective, it is fraught with complications. Even if you are allowed under the terms of your lease (and most people aren’t), you have to be able to ensure that there is no disruption to the other tenants in the building, which as an absentee landlord, is almost impossible to do.
As property managers, we regularly receive calls from disgruntled residents ringing in with a long list of grievances linked to Airbnb; noisy tourists with oversized baggage ringing the bell to get access to the building, the freshly decorated common parts of the building getting trashed by drunken guests, excessive noise going late into the night waking up the whole building – the list is endless. We even had a report of a fire extinguisher being chucked through a 5th floor window… to what end, we will never know. So while it may seem a very attractive prospect, particularly in affluent areas of London where you can charge £180 a night for a one bedroom flat, it’s important that you consider these factors before uploading your property;
- Under the terms of most leases, short term lets are not allowed. In particular there is a clause that expressly forbids using a premises for a business or for lettings under 6 months. This has recently been backed by case law giving authority to this clause of the lease, and opens leaseholders considering Airbnb or similar to legal action.
- It could cost you money. This may be a classic case of risk / reward, and your Airbnb guests might often be quiet and well meaning, however should your guests trash the common parts or cause damage to the building, you will be liable to pay for it. Furthermore, if you really annoyed other tenants, there could be legal ramifications and damages owed.
- It’s not very neighbourly - if you were living in a building and were constantly disturbed by excessive noise and parties from transient guests, it would affect your quality of life. Just because you aren’t there to experience the disruption, doesn’t mean you should ignore the leaseholders and long-term tenants who are.
A number of us at Hillgate Management have happily stayed in Airbnb accommodation ourselves for holidays, so our stance may seem a little hypocritical. But for all the reasons above, from a property management perspective we would not recommend it for the tenants under our care – it’s simply not worth the risk.