Council's revenge for tenant's Airbnb listing


Council flat tenant, Toby Harman, has been taken to court by Westminster City Council for unlawfully sub-letting his flat on Airbnb. Mr Harman had been listing his flat on the accommodation site since 2013 and had received over £100,000 in income. 

The BBC reports that Westminster Council found out what Mr Harman had been doing and took him to court. Mr Harman was evicted from his flat and ordered to pay the council £100,974 in unlawful profits. Mr Harman's appeal was unsuccessful.

The council said it is currently investigating at least 1500 properties on similar Airbnb style short term lettings.

Not only are short term lettings over 90 days a breach of planning rules, they are also often prohibited by covenants in a lease, meaning that it is not just council tenants who are caught by restrictions on Airbnb lettings and who should be mindful of knowingly (or unknowingly) breaching their lease terms. 

Over the past 12 months I have certainly seen an increase in the number of landlord's approaching us for advice on how to dealt with tenants who are unlawfully subletting their flats on Airbnb and similar websites.

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