Property Management Company letting property on Airbnb without permission

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    Property Management Company letting property on Airbnb without permission

    Hi all,

    I wondered if you could possibly advise.

    We have an agreement with a property management company that provides a guaranteed rent scheme to us. The agreement is for 3 years and we are currently 2.5 years into it and we own the leasehold with a Housing Association being a freeholder. The tenant listed on the Tenancy agreement is the Property Management Company with specific permission to then provide AST accommodation. I've checked and this not an uncommon agreement in London.

    We regularly check the property (every 3-4 months) and up until recently didn't have any significant issue with the agreement other than the company owner showed himself to be unprofessional when it come to speaking with us and dealing with things such as repairs. We have however recently been contacted by the Housing Association who have informed us that the property is being let out on Airbnb and that this must stop otherwise they will be taking legal action against us as the leaseholder.

    Here are a couple of segments from the tenancy agreement which I beleive are being breached:

    - The premises asked to be used for subletting as residential accommodation. The subletting will create easy and short hold tenancy as defined in section 20 of the Housing act 1988 or license in accordance with occupation by licensing residents.

    - The tenant or the landlords occupiers shall not do anything to wear on the premises that:
    1) Causes a nuisance, annoyance or any damage to occupiers of neighbouring properties.
    2) Involve using the property for immoral or is illegal purposes
    3) Has the effect of invalidating the insurance that the landlord has taken out in accordance with clause 1 of this agreement.


    What are the next steps here as we would like to get the property back and either employ a more reputable firm without the guaranteed rent or to manage the let ourselves.

    My understanding is that we cannot serve Section 8 or 21 because the tenant is a company and we instead would need to look at serving a Common Law Notice - does anybody have any experience in this process?

    Are we likely to get a possession order given the evidence?

    Thanks in advance

    #2
    Serve NTQ under terms of tenancy between you & agent then take through court.

    If your tenancy agreement (bet it was supplied by agent) permits it this will evict your tenant, the agent.

    The occupants (AirBnB people) may still be there when 1st eviction done.

    Another example be of why to avoid guaranteed rent scams
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

    Comment


      #3
      I’m not trying to defend them, but you must have known that this is kind of what you signed up to.

      They agree to pay you a guaranteed rent well below market rate and then they sublet for as much as possible and keep the difference.

      Airbnb may not be in the spirit of that agreement, but does it actually violate it?

      I think your best bet is to notify then that they are in breach of your head lease and then give notice for the end of the contract in 6 months.

      Comment


        #4
        Good point. AiRBnB agreement could be an AST!
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

        Comment


          #5
          No the management company have had tenants in for the past two years. They've subsequently gotten greedy and tried to maximise their income.

          "The premises asked to be used for subletting as residential accommodation. The subletting will create easy and short hold tenancy as defined in section 20 of the Housing act 1988"

          Could you really say that letting on Airbnb is in keeping with this part of the agreement? The answer is no.

          Heres Section 20 of the act:
          Assured shorthold tenancies: pre-Housing Act 1996 tenancies.

          (1)Subject to subsection (3) below, an assured tenancy which is not one to which section 19A above applies is an assured shorthold tenancy if—

          (a)it is a fixed term tenancy granted for a term certain of not less than six months,

          Comment


            #6
            Rent to rent schemes rarely seem to end well for landlords. Read a few of the threads before jumping to renew such an agreement.

            Comment


              #7
              s20 applied to tenancies before 1996. An AST can be for 1 day, 1 week, 3 weeks etc etc etc

              AirBnB can be AST depending on exactly what occupant is doing: See....
              https://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/20...upation-types/

              However, we both know the bent management company are supplying licences: Which may or may not be licenses.

              You need to (yes, that phrase again..>) "Take back control"** and evict your tenant, the agent/management company..

              ** How come the government is so keen to prevent the electorate taking back control of brexit process? (Rhetorical, no answer required...)
              I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by CannonPark View Post
                No the management company have had tenants in for the past two years. They've subsequently gotten greedy and tried to maximise their income.
                I don’t doubt it.

                But my advice stands. Give notice for the end of the agreement with them (which you’ve indicated is in 6 months).

                If you want your property back earlier than that you’ll either need to get them to agree, or take them to court where you’ll have to prove that they are in breach of your agreement.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                  AiRBnB agreement could be an AST!
                  his only or principal home?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks all,

                    I've taken legal advice and our solicitor is about to serve a 30 day NTQ based on a breach of the agreement in regards to the point of the AST and on the fact that the current arrangement invalidates the insurance which is also listed in our tenancy agreement.

                    I had intended to contact Airbnb as they have a policy of removing ANY advert which a property owner does not want up with a view to choking his supply of business but the solicitor advised that there is a slim possibility they may raise a claim for loss of earnings so I'm holding off for now.

                    At this stage I wonder how many of you think the Property Management Company will actually play ball and offer up vacant possession in 30 days? Does this EVER actually happen?

                    Beyond that I've been advised that getting a possession order may cost £3-5k if I'm relying on solicitors to do the work which given the fact there is only 6 months left seems like a financially silly thing to do but I agree with the above in that I want to take back control and move on from this horrible situation.

                    I wonder if I went for possession without legal support if I would be eaten alive by the courts? Any thoughts?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      You would seek to recover your legal costs from the property management company as part of the claim.

                      While I can see the solicitors point about loss of earrings (just about), removing the listings makes it more likely that you'll get your property back, as there won't be as much future business being lost.
                      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                      Comment

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