14/12/2016

AirbnBreach – developments…

Things are hotting up on the Airbnb front. We’ve noted breach of lease issues here and here. Then there has been the big issue of massive and widespread breaches of the Greater London ‘no short letting of whole for more than 90 days per calendar year without planning permission’ rules, which councils, understandably, have been struggling to enforce. Not least because Airbnb (and similar setups) would not release any data on usage.

But Airbnb, despite attempting a ‘sharing economy’ buzzword based charm offensive, faced increasingly ominous noises, including being summoned to a chat with Sadiq Khan, London Mayor. In what appears to be a jump before pushed manoeuvre, Airbnb are to limit London lets of whole properties to 90 days per calendar year unless the person letting can prove they have planning permission. (They won’t get planning permission, one suspects.)

Meanwhile, breach of lease cases go on. I hope to have details of another case shortly, with different lease clauses to Nemcova, and this time featuring injunction proceedings – which strike me as being the most effective and economic approach, as not only will the claimant have an injunction but a determination of breach of lease by a court for any future forfeiture steps (and potentially contractual costs under the lease on that basis.)

And then, as an indicator of the kinds of legal complications, personal risks and life changing injuries that could be involved in Airbnb lets of a leasehold flat, there is this ongoing case (which is, I must disclose, being run by a colleague in another department of my firm). Freeholder, building insurer, leaseholder and Airbnb all apparently in a dance of trying to avoid liability.

 

 

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.

5 Comments

  1. Peter Cobrin

    Thanks to Giles, our manager/receiver served a section 146 on our delinquent freeholder in his guise as a leaseholder of 17 flats requiring him to cease his holiday let activity. Watch this space!!!

    Reply
    • Giles Peaker

      I think a s.146 would require a court or tribunal to have determined that there is a breach of lease. Hope that has happened. Good luck!

    • Peter Cobrin (@petertheteacher)

      It was a notice of our intention to serve a section 146 if they didn’t undertake to cease. First shot across their bows!!

  2. Peter Cobrin

    More fun and games!! One of our freeholder’s companies has gone bust owing £815K to HMRC. The only asset is our freehold worth around £750K but needs £1 million in immediate repairs. Hope the Offical Receiver is on the ball and digs into all the companies. They all operate out of our building with the same directors.

    Reply

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