Short-term lets: good or bad?

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Last night’s ITV’s Tonight show provided an overview on the popularity of short-term lets, mainly Airbnb bookings. Those of us who have used Airbnb cannot fault its appeal in terms of convenience and choice across the world, with reportedly around 230,000 Airbnbs across the UK alone. However, with the ever increasing demand for short-term lets, what is the real impact of them?

The attractiveness of short-term letting is often the lack of effort required and absence of regulations surrounding them for a good monetary return! But is it really that simple? As short-term lets rise in popularity within communities, previously unknown issues are arising, resulting in a call for reform and regulations. In the meantime, our property litigation team highlight some regular issues that they are seeing arise as a result of the increase in short-term lets:

Neighbours and residents

Understandably, longer-term residents in apartments are starting to raise concerns about the short term lets surrounding them. These include easy accessibility due to keys being left outside or in a ‘safe place’, noise and partying, unfavourable behaviour and, simply put, strangers on common areas. When most of us consider our homes as safe, familiar places, having strangers coming and going as they please is bound to be unsettling for residents.

In light of this, property owners are turning to their leases for guidance. Flats and apartments tend to be leaseholds, so as a host and owner, does a short-term let put you in breach? If you’re unsure, you should always seek legal advice from a property solicitor, even if it’s just for peace of mind.

Enjoyment of property

Are the occupiers of neighbouring short-term lets disturbing you to the point where you’re not enjoying where you live?

If your property is owned on a leasehold basis, you may be able to raise this complaint with your landlord/freeholder. Any disturbance can amount to a breach of your lease and often your landlord will be under an obligation to take action to prevent such disturbance.

As a landlord of long leaseholder residential flats, this is a growing headache and one that’s important to take action on when notified.

Right of occupation

What is the right of occupation granted? Just because an arrangement is labelled a ‘short-term let’, there is no guarantee that it legally is. Hosts should be careful not to grant an occupier more than a right to occupy for a short-term basis. The conduct of the individuals is just as important than the written agreement. As a landlord, always seek legal advice before embarking on hosting and/or short-term lets to avoid getting into hot water later down the line.

How we can help

Whether you’re a neighbour or a landlord, if you believe a short-term let has extended beyond its intention, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Our property litigation solicitors regularly represent landlords, letting agents and tenants in disputes and can advise you on all aspects of landlord and tenant law. Call us on 0117 325 2929 or fill out our online enquiry form to get in touch.


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