Did you know that the Airbnb model is posing a growing threat to landlords as more and more tenants are sub-letting rooms without their landlord’s permission or knowledge?
For those who may not be aware of the phenomenon, Airbnb is an online marketplace connecting travellers with local hosts worldwide (people who list rooms on the site so as to earn extra income). It has caught on like wildfire, as it provides travellers with a cheaper and more interesting alternative to traditional accommodations.
This type of web platform allows home owners to let individual rooms or a whole property to visitors on a nightly basis. Which is all well and good for property owners looking to make some extra income but it is also enables tenants to inappropriately profit from their landlord’s asset by taking in paying guests and pocketing the cash, while the landlord remains blissfully ignorant. There have been 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 of a London property, it was thought that more than 300 people stayed in a landlord’s property in one year, unbeknown to the landlord!
Sub-letting, which this is, not only breaches most tenancy agreements and creates additional wear and tear issues, but it also leaves private landlords vulnerable to being in breach of their mortgage terms, invalidates insurance policies and contravenes conditions concerned with letting out shared homes. Eviction specialists have spoken out about the growing issue of tenants subletting their rental properties on peer-to-peer websites like Airbnb and the trend is not likely to decrease any time soon.
So Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire landlords, be cautious. You may be thrilled that your delightful, friendly tenant not only pays the rent on the dot, keeps your house/apartment in spick and span condition, and has the bedrooms looking as pretty and stylish as in any boutique hotel….
The problem is - your property may very well be a hotel!