Hi there , I'm hoping you may be able to help me.
My father owns a 3 bed apartment and in May 2016 he decided he would like to airbnb it and host guests. As my father lives in Spain for the majority of the time I manage the airbnb booking process. Thankfully all our guests have been great so far and we have encountered no issues. However my father owns the apartment on a leashold basis and the apartment is in a small apartment block. Other residents that live in the block have noticed guests entering and leaving the property and they have raised the issue of security and not liking the idea that "strangers" are inside the shared block of flats. Has anyone else come up against this issue with fellow leaseholders and if so how did you get round it ? I have explained to them that the guests have to go through security checks before they can book and I will collate the security info into a document and share with fellow leaseholders. But any additional thoughts/as vice would be hugely appreciated. The main entrance door to the apartment block does have a master key which means that it is not possible to copy the key so from that security perspective no guest will be able to copy keys even if they tried . So far I have not contacted the managing agent for the property as I suspect they will tell me to stop airbnb completely.any help would be great. Thanks a million. Suzanne **
You need to check the lease first to see what it says about letting short term. That will underpin any action the freeholder/management company could decide to take. If it's not expressly prohibited then the freeholder cannot retrospectively create a new condition. However there was a recent ruling in the U.K. that went against a leaseholder who was renting out their flat through Airbnb while not living there. The court decide it he term private home meant that this type of rental was incompatible with the lease. It's a tough one as people use the issue of security when in fact what they really mean is potential for parties, noise etc. Luckily you have had no instances of this so far.
Hi Gerry and Rashid
People don't just use the ''issue of security'' which mean parties and noise etc... Some of us have children coming home from school only to face strangers coming in and out of the building. Just please try to put yourself in parents shoes. Are my children safe ?! ( landlord doesn't stay at his adress ) For me it is all about keeping my children safe.
Hope you understand
When you are buying a property, in London this can easily be £400K+, are you likely to feel secure if you know flats are basically holiday lets ?
Most mail is stored in communal areas until picked up. So would you feel secure knowing high numbers of strangers have access ? We have had parcels go missing, identity theft with fraudulent accounts created, items delivered and collected without the leaseholder knowing how.
On several occasions we’ve had the front door left wide open by people who are only renting for a weekend. At 11.30pm one night we had a guests visitor turn up and shout from the gate until they were given the gate code, which they then shouted to confirm. The argument then continue by the back door.
Hi there, I have been hosting for a couple of years from my block of flats where I am a leaseholder and have a share of freehold. 5 flats do it, out of a total of 80. Our Management Agency has told us to stop, as its against the lease as we are not allowed to run 'businesses from our flats'. They said that by advertising our flats on Airbnb we were using our flats to earn money. But... flats are let out through Estate Agents who also advertise them to tenants. That seems to be OK with the Managing Agents, but not through Airbnb.
The Management Agent has threatened us with serving some kind of Order...... not sure what it is. I rent a room out in my flat for Airbnb guests..... not the whole flat..... I dont understand the law as explained for London on the Airbnb Host Help area.
Some other Hosts in the block have been careless about security and left Travellers waiting outside of the flats... and this was noticed by other lessees and now the 5 of us are all 'in trouble'. Anyone else had this experience? I am thinking I might have to stop hosting.....
@Julie488 If you live there and just rent out a room then it's very unlikely that the management company can stop you doing that. Write to them and ask them to provide you with the clauses in your lease that prevent you (while living there) renting out a spare bedroom for short term.
If you’re lease has a clause restricting the flat to a single household, they can enforce a breach of the lease.
Should you have a mortgage, you also need your mortgage provider to agree.
I had a call this evening from a Director of my Leasehold property saying that although I do due diligence on screening guests, others may not and therefore they're putting a clause in their insurance for any short term tenancy to not be covered by the building insurance.
Apparently theyve heard "horror stories" about Airbnb tenants and want to put a stop to it. Not too sure where to turn on this. I'm taking out Airbnb insurance that covers public liability and contents but not too sure how that deals with damages to the building itself. Anyone here got any guidance?
Sounds about right. The block insurance may not of covered short term lets. Also google Nemcova v Fairfield Rents Ltd (2016), it is likely that your lease may have a similar clause.
While what happens in the host's house is usually the host's responsibility (and I recommend everyone to take out insurance for third party liability, it seems that nowadays when someone gets injured they are automatically entitled to hefty sums), the freeholder/company managing the building is probably concerned about their liability in case of accidents involving Airbnb guests in the communal areas (lobby, lifts, stairs, walkways etc.).
This is understandable, as it appears most insurance policies for block of flats do not cover liability for short term stays.
Airbnb however have thought of that and provide the Host Protection Insurance:
According to Airbnb, this also covers accidents in communal areas and should provide peace of mind to hosts, although I doubt this will be enough to reassure your freeholder.
Besides if you are letting the whole flat rather than just a room, there's also the issue of it not being used primarily as a "private residence" which is a common clause in leasehold agreements.
In the end, if the management company of your building has informed you short term stays aren't allowed, it would be a tough fight for you to win, it would probably end up in an expensive exchange of letters through lawyers, and it may not be worth your while.
You should read Nemcova v Fairfield Rents Ltd, as the judge covers renting where the leaseholders isn’t living in the flat.
So locking up a room doesn’t Chang’s the fact that you’re not living there. In many leases, it is a requirement for the private residence to be for a single household and so that would exclude letting out a room.
The insurance risk is about the building, which in the worse case scenario they would have to pay to rebuild.
Hotels who have a variety of guests staying and many with limited checks, have a very different insurance to private residential property. That’s because home owners are more likely not to take risks in their own homes, where they have their personal items etc.
Hi- This is the issue i suddenly have after being a host for years. i live in a grade 2 listed converted church and our building insurance doesn't cover short term lets/ airbnb under 90 days. One of the other 5 leaseholders is stopping me from hiring out my place because the $1m wouldn't cover if the building were burnt down. Does anyone know of any UK insurance companies that will cover building insurance to get around this issue?