The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber)'s decision in Triplerose Limited v Mr and Mrs Beattie (https://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKUT/LC/2020/180.html) this week confirmed that:
- An Air BnB let is a breach of a clause prohibiting the use of a property "other than as a private dwelling house for occupation by one family at any one time"; but
- On the facts on this case (as the owner also stayed in the property a couple of times a week), it was held that the Air BnB let was not a breach of a clause prohibiting "the carrying on or permitting a trade or business to be carried on upon the property" because that use was ancillary/subordinate to the residential use.
This latest decision will be welcome news for landlords as it provides further clarity on when a short-term let will constitute a breach of a lease. However, as is also clear from the findings of Martin Rodger QC, careful drafting of any lease is essential and landlords should ensure that leases contain appropriate prohibitions on user and alienation; any disputes will turn on the construction of these clauses.
However, the overall message remains. If you are tempted to let your property through a company such as Air BnB, there is a high risk that you will be in breach by doing so. If your landlord is able to establish such a breach, this could be a first step to forfeiture proceedings and the loss of your property, or you could be on the receiving end of an expensive injunction.
For more information please contact your usual Forsters Property Litigation contact or read our previous blog here https://www.forsters.co.uk/news/blog/case-update-airbnb-lettings-finally-put-bed
On the facts found by the FTT the individuals who occupied the flat for weekends or other short periods after responding to internet advertisements were not using the flat as a private dwellinghouse for occupation by one family at any one time. By permitting that use Mr and Mrs Beattie were in breach