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What are your tenants up to?

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Like many a landlord, you might often worry about quite what your tenants might be up to.

You cannot keep a close check on them all of the time, of course – and neither does your typical tenant usually warrant it. But there may be occasions when tenants abuse the tenancy, breach the conditions by effectively running a business from the property, leaving you many thousands of pounds out of pocket as a result.

In its report of a recent television documentary, on the 28th of October, Property Reporter described instances where tenants were discovered to have been running what amounted to a professional sub-letting service – thanks to the convenience of Airbnb.

Without their landlord’s permission, tenants were sub-letting the property to paying “guests” through listings on the popular website Airbnb.

To make matters worse, the reported incident appeared to leave Airbnb unmoved – even though the tenants were:

  • in breach of their tenancy agreement;
  • breaking the local authority’s short-term and HMO licensing requirements; and
  • exposing the landlord to serious failures in keeping to the terms of his mortgage and insurance conditions.

Airbnb apparently refused to take any action whatsoever – allowing the tenants to continue abusing the terms of their lease – and the website’s only advice was that the landlord takes up such matters with the tenants themselves.

Incidents such as these may be rare and, provided the landlord is fully informed and grants the necessary permission, sub-letting a tenancy may work perfectly well – as long as both your mortgage provider and landlord insurer are informed and agree too.