Airbnb – Breach of Lease

Jan 7, 2019

The rise of the success of websites such as Airbnb has led many people to rent out their properties to raise extra income. However, anyone considering renting out a flat should first of all check their Lease to ensure they are not in breach of the Lease terms in letting out the property on a short-term basis. 

Individual flat Owners living in Glasgow should also be extra cautious before taking out such a venture. In March 2017, Glasgow City Council introduced new regulations stipulating that a flat which has a communal entrance cannot be rented out on a short-term basis; such as Airbnb. It does however permit someone to rent out a room within a flat as long as the owner is still living there. The Council does have the power to refuse this, should there be a large number of rented flats in a small area. Otherwise, the Owner of the flat needs to apply for “Change of Use” planning permission, in order to rent out the property. A recent court case heard by the Scottish Government held that a Landlord was in breach of the new regulations by letting out a flat using Airbnb. This is the first case of his kind in Scotland where a Council has been able to successfully prevent a person being able to rent out their Property on Airbnb. This case could encourage other Councils to also impose similar stricter rules. It is anticipated that Edinburgh County Council also introduces similar measures.

Although the case was heard in Scotland, it could be persuasive if a similar case went to Court here. The case is a clear reminder that all regulations, including the Lease to any flat, should be considered carefully before renting out a property.   

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Our insights are accurate at the date of publication – they are not intended to contain definitive legal advice, which should be sought as appropriate in relation to a particular matter.