This week’s blog is about Airbnb, and an issue that we’ve recently had with one of our own landlords.
So, what happened was a tenant took the property, as normal, they sent through all the checks, they signed a tenancy agreement, and then ultimately, what they’ve been doing since then is providing the apartment as an Airbnb apartment. This has been happening on several weekends, and it’s caused issues in the building and also to the other residents. It clearly states in the tenancy agreement that they’re not allowed to do this, and this is a breach of contract.
If this happens to you, what you need to do is catch them at it. You need to have proof that they are doing Airbnb. The first thing to do is to look on the Airbnb platform if you do suspect this, have a look through it, see if there are any apartments on there, if you are an agent, that you are managing yourself or, indeed, if you’re a landlord, look for your specific building, etc.
Once you find the apartment on there and you have the proof, you need to approach the tenant, have a chat with them, find out if this is a situation. Of course, see if they admit to it. It’s highly unlikely that they will because what they’ll be doing it for is they’ll be making a lot more money off Airbnb than they will if they were just paying the rent themselves. They’ll probably be making double the amount.
What you need to do is issue them with a Section 21 in order to move them out the premises because they are breaching the contract. Do ensure that you follow everything up with letters, you have plenty of telephone calls, and keep plenty of evidence.
Now, because we’ve been on top of this, we’ve managed to be able to get him right out of the property, and to be honest, he left the property without even doing a checkout with us, or being present at any point, or even answering our telephone calls.
I think once you catch them, the general consensus is that they tend to move on, but it isn’t unusual, especially in city centres, people are often thinking about doing this. You cannot tell from someone’s credit check whether this is their intention or not. They may be professional at it, or it may just be the fact that a friend has given them the idea.
What you must always do is follow the legal rules and regulations. I know it’s not ideal for a landlord but ensure that you don’t put yourself in legal jeopardy by going along, and say, just automatically changing the locks because you want to get them out. Always follow the process correctly as if you were going to evict a tenant anyway, and just make sure that you inform them they have breached their tenancy agreement, and make sure you follow the correct rules and regulations, issue them with a Section 21, and get them out the property as soon as possible, or it could have implications for you as a landlord if you are breaking the terms of the head lease of the property.