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Prettys Solicitors Ipswich

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Long Leaseholders Beware if Letting Rooms or Whole Flat Under Airbnb Style Arrangements

In the recent case of Bermondsey Exchange Freeholders Limited v Ninos Koumetto (as Trustee in Bankruptcy of Kevin Geoghegan Conway), the flat owner had advertised his entire flat as available for bookings on the Airbnb platform. The claimant’s position was that such arrangements increased the potential for additional nuisance and security issues to the detriment of the development as a whole.  The defendant took the view that he was not using the flat for non residential purposes and was not prevented by the terms of his lease from doing so.

The material covenants in the lease were

The appeal court decided that the arrangements for the letting of the entire flat on Airbnb  constituted breaches  of the last  3 covenants  in  the 999 year  residential  lease  deeming the offering of the entire flat for  Airbnb bookings to amount to short term holiday lets to transient visitors,  without the landlords consent. It also upheld the principle of the earlier injunction preventing him from continuing to let out his flat on Airbnb platform.

Although many of the other flats within the development were let out on assured shorthold tenancies, the court found that Airbnb style letting amounted to a breach of covenants against subletting without the landlord’s consent and a breach of the user covenant requiring the flat to be used as a “residential flat with the occupation of one family only”.

Points of Note for Lessees

Points of Note for Landlords

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