Can you forfeit a 999 year lease for renting on Airbnb?

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    Can you forfeit a 999 year lease for renting on Airbnb?

    Hi All,

    Can you successfully forfeit / gain possession of a 999 year lease for renting on Airbnb?

    The lease mentions not being allowed to let the apartment for a term less than 6 months and the lease in question is a 999 year lease from 1995.

    Thanks in advance!

    #2
    For one to be able to answer that definitively, it would have actually had to have happened.

    I would imagine it would only happen if an injunction to cease the breach was blatantly ignored, and even then, it is more likely that more conventional means of dealing with contempts of court would be used.

    However, obtaining FTT confirmation of the breach, followed by initiating forfeiture, would currently be a valid route to obtaining that injunction, in the form of relief from forfeiture.

    Especially now that the FTT has to confirm breaches first, relief from forfeiture isn't a question of getting away with it, but having a lesser sanction imposed

    Are you the breacher or the enforcer?

    Comment


      #3
      In this scenario I would be the breacher although it’s not a real case at the moment. The story is that I have an apartment which would be great on Airbnb but my 999 year lease says that I can’t let the property for a term less than 6 months so I thought I’d ask you guys your thoughts on where I would stand if I did decide to rent it out on Airbnb and the freeholder attempted to forfeit the lease or attempt to gain possession.

      Comment


        #4
        Forfeiture is extremely unusual and there are proposals to remove the right completely.

        Comment


          #5
          Just to clarify my last comment, you should still comply with the terms of the lease. I have known leaseholders let for 6 months or more and the tenant let on Airbnb with or without the knowledge of the leaseholder.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by 2019 New Member View Post
            In this scenario I would be the breacher although it’s not a real case at the moment. The story is that I have an apartment which would be great on Airbnb but my 999 year lease says that I can’t let the property for a term less than 6 months so I thought I’d ask you guys your thoughts on where I would stand if I did decide to rent it out on Airbnb and the freeholder attempted to forfeit the lease or attempt to gain possession.
            The real risk of a forfeiture proceeding is not the forfeiture itself - as other members have pointed out, it's very unlikely to get to that stage unless you ignore the judgement of a tribunal - but being found to have breached the terms of your lease and therefore be on the hook for the legal costs taken by your freeholder to bring you to Tribunal.

            You could lose many tens of thousands of pounds. That's the risk. Not of losing your house.

            Comment


              #7
              Have you considered why that term is in the lease ? It could prove very disruptive for others with arrivals,departures and behavior. Your dwelling could be trashef.
              others have pointed out possible costs. You would be well advised to abide by the lease.

              Comment


                #8
                Why exactly do you want,. OP, to breach a contract you have signed. That is not likely to end well, forfeiture apart. And it is not very nice either.

                Comment


                  #9
                  In theory..yes
                  Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

                  I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

                  It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

                  Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    #8 Absolutely right. As I often have had to say, you can't cherry pick the lease. How would you feel if other people broke the lease in ways that stopped people wanting to rent your dwelling.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thanks to everyone for replying. So in summary i could stand to lose thousands of pounds in legal fees discussing the potential breach with freeholder so it wouldn’t be worth considering.

                      I thought it may be a case of old lease wording (pre AirBNB, Booking.com) that wouldn’t really apply now.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by 2019 New Member View Post
                        I thought it may be a case of old lease wording (pre AirBNB, Booking.com) that wouldn’t really apply now.
                        If the lease only dates back to 1995, holiday letting is likely to have been considered even if "AirB&B" wasn't a thing.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Although forfeiture is unlikely, as I hinted, you could end up with an injunction against further such lets, and if you break that, you would be in contempt of court.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            A shame that consideration for other stakeholders and a general respect for the lease do not appear to have been important.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by eagle2 View Post
                              Just to clarify my last comment, you should still comply with the terms of the lease. I have known leaseholders let for 6 months or more and the tenant let on Airbnb with or without the knowledge of the leaseholder.
                              We've had this exact problem. Overseas owner contracted letting agent {Mod - name removed} to find a tenant, and within a few weeks there was a stream of AirBnb-ers and the local chipshop owner was the keyholder. Apparently there's a clause in {Mod - name removed} letting contract that allows sublets to short term tenants and that's exactly what their tenant did. We had a hell of a job stopping it: owner claimed not to have known about the contract, {Mod - name removed} claimed their contract overrides the lease covenant, tenant claimed he was adhering to his contract with {Mod - name removed} (which he was). It was a total mess, had to get the landlord involved and it took us an entire summer to sort out.
                              But... the 'tenant' (who we're sure is a friend of the owner) made about £50k in the process.

                              Comment

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