Can I use my flat for Airbnb?

Can I use my flat for Airbnb?
Southampton docks at night

Airbnb is a great way of finding somewhere to rent short term – but if you are a tenant yourself, can you use your flat or apartment for Airbnb rental to make some extra money?

Although Airbnb itself is pretty new, the situation is actually already well covered in most tenancy agreements – renting out a property you rent is called sub-letting.

This covers a whole range of activities, including renting all of the flat or just a single room for either the long or short term.

Southampton docks at night

Check your rental agreement

Many rental agreements will specifically not allow you to sublet. This is usually in place to protect the landlords’ property, as they do not want people they have not run background checks on living there or having access.

Some rental agreements will say it can be done, with landlords permission. In this case you might need to put in a request – and make sure you get the answer in writing, including any limitations they may want to impose, and any increased charges

What if my agreement says nothing about sub-letting?

There is a difference between being in a longer contract (generally a year or more) and one that is ‘periodic’ – effectively month to month (or week to week if you pay weekly)

For periodic tenancies, if your tenancy agreement says nothing about subletting, you cannot sublet without your landlord’s permission and they can refuse for any reason.

For fixed term contract tenancies, if your tenancy agreement says nothing about subletting, it is possible to sublet and your landlord’s consent is not required.

If you have a ‘secure tenancy’ (almost always meaning council housing or housing association) you have a right to sublet a room (or rooms), but not the whole property.

More information: Citizens Advice

Apartment blocks and subletting

A further issue may arise where the rules of an apartment block may specifically excluding renting any of the individual flat out for holiday lets, or short term rental of under one month. In this case, your landlord should have ensured the same obligation is in your rental agreement.

There is the risk the management company may raise a court claim to prevent it being used this way and seek damages if you continue anyway.

What’s the consequences of setting up and Airbnb let without permission?

You are in breach of your agreement with the landlord. If you have otherwise been a good tenant, most will generally just tell you to stop when they find out, but they can end the contract early and force you to leave.

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