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Airbnb Landlord – What do I need to know?

By Brad Askew on 26/06/2019 with comments

Airbnb started as a ‘thing’ but has since grown into a formidable force in the short term accommodation market.  I have written this article to get you thinking, to inspire you, and to provide some legal thoughts around the frameworks that Airbnb can exist under in the UK Rental market.Image result for airbnb landlords

Airbnb stats to make you sit upright. The 2018 Impact reported as follows:

  • £854M Income earned by local households
  • 8.4M Inbound guests in the past year
  • £3.5B Economic activity generated by home hosts
  •  223,200 Active Listings
  • £3,100 Annual earnings for a typical host
  • 36 Nights hosted per year  for a typical listing Guests
  • 8.4M Total inbound guests
  • 3.1 nights Average length of stay per guest
  • 11.1M Outbound guests in the past year

You can download the full Airbnb 2018 Impact Report HERE

It is no longer ‘a thing’, it is ‘the thing’.

As a buy to let landlord whether you became that accidentally or intentionally, at the end of the day you own bricks, (capital assets), and wish to generate the optimum rent, (yield).  There are the usual routes open to you including but not limited to:

  1. Approach a lettings agent and let them put it on Rightmove or Zoopla for you, collect rent and take about 12% for their efforts.  This would normally be a normal  Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement.
  2. Do the above, but do it yourself and save the 12%.  Most of the landlords on this website like to do things on their own as it is not as daunting as one might expect.
  3. Live in the property and have lodgers stay with you.
  4. You live elsewhere and rent the house to multiple tenants  as a House of Multiple Occupation and comply with the local laws and regulations.
  5. Rent on Airbnb to maximize yield but recognise it will be high energy and constant turnover of guests (and linen).

Airbnb Lodger Landlords Law

This is much like any other lodger agreement.  The lodging contract will provide what the lodger can or cannot do, the term, and the agreement will be set out on Airbnb itself.  Unlike a Tenancy on an AST you do not have to obtain a Court Possession order to get a lodger to leave.  If you do not live in the property on Airbnb you are not a Lodger Landlord.  You can read more about the principles of Lodgers HERE.

License to Occupy

A licence to occupy is a personal agreement between the licensor and the occupier (the licensee), whereby the licensor permits the licensee non-exclusive occupation of the premises for a short period of time, typically six or 12 months.

According to Airbnb Hosting guests on Airbnb covers the following situations all of which are covered by the Airbnb conditions and agreements.

  • Private room
  • Shared room, or
  • Whole place 

Please be aware that if you are giving individuals exclusive possession of a property for a significant period which you are not servicing regularly, (breakfasts, linen, cleaning), then there is a possibility that a Tenancy will arise and the law of our land take effect. And, Airbnb as formidable as they are, are not above those laws.

I am a Tenant can I sublet on Airbnb

Perhaps.  Check your Tenancy Agreement.  It will probably state that you cannot sublet without your landlord’s permission which they cannot unreasonably withhold. A good reason might be overcrowding or implications relating to the property turning into an unlicensed HMO.  Read more about that here.

For further detailed information about becoming an Airbnb Landlord, please refer to the help and knowledge bank on Airbnb HERE