A council tenant who let out his flat on Airbnb was evicted by Westminster City Council and ordered to pay an unlawful profits order of over £100 000. An investigation by the council discovered over 300 reviews of the Vauxhall Bridge Road property on the site going back to 2013 and evidence that the tenant had received regular payments from Airbnb.
The case involved social housing where it is illegal to sublet property. However, this case is a reminder to anyone who wants to let their home through sites such as Airbnb to ensure that any restrictions against short term lettings are complied with. Many leases restrict the use of leasehold premises to occupation by one household and prohibit short term lettings. Many mortgages also contain restrictions as to the use of the mortgaged property.
Westminster City Council have set up a specialist team to tackle tenants breaching the terms of their tenancies and increasingly private sector landlords are seeking to enforce covenants when they become aware of such practice.
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