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Do you need permission to run an AirBnB?

Do you need permission to run an Airbnb?

Airbnb has become a common way for property owners to earn money through letting out their property.

It has become very popular in seaside towns like Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch, where our offices are based, though can lead to problems in local neighbourhoods.

Airbnb party houses

The complaints surrounding the party house on Sandbanks was a prime example of this, covered in local and national media.

Anna Curtis is one of our bright, knowledgeable lawyers in our dispute resolution team, answers some of the most frequently-asked questions about Airbnb lettings and outlines the legal requirements for Airbnbs.

Do you need permission to run an Airbnb?

If you'd like to watch our video on the same topic, you can do so below. If not, read on for our the text version.

You may need a number of different permissions to run an Airbnb such as from your mortgage lender, the local authority and also your house insurer. You should also pay careful attention to any Restrictive Covenants in relation to your property which may govern how you can use the property.

Can I use my flat for Airbnb?

Furthermore if the property is a flat, you may also need consent from your freeholder.

What is a Restrictive Covenant?

Your title deeds may include Restrictive Covenants which is an agreement between the original seller of the property (usually the developer) and the original buyer of the property in relation to how the property can be used.

These covenants may date back more than 100 years but the covenants are still enforceable by the original seller if they are still in existence and sometimes also by the neighbouring properties. Common covenants are those dealing with noise and nuisance and also running a business from the property.

What is the Airbnb 90 day rule?

This applies to properties in Greater London and means that your property can only be rented for 90 days in any calendar year, unless you have a specific permit to short term let your property

Do I need planning permission to use my house as a holiday let?

This depends on the nature of the Airbnb rental. If you are renting the property for short periods and also keeping the property as your family home then it is unlikely that planning permission will be required. However, if the property is only being used as a holiday rental then a change of use is likely to be required. You should always check with your local council.

Does Airbnb need council approval?

Regulations may vary between each local authority but it is worth remembering that, regardless of the regulations regarding planning permission and change of use, the Council can take action in relation to matters such as noise disturbances which is often the main cause of complaints in relation to Airbnb properties.

Do I need to tell my mortgage company about Airbnb?

Yes. Many mortgage landers have conditions in relation to how the property should be occupied and you need to be aware of these terms if you are looking to rent out the property as an Air B n B in order that you don’t breach your mortgage terms. The same applies to your house insurance company.

Can I stop my neighbour from running an Airbnb?

This depends on how the property is being used as there may be a breach of planning regulations.

If the guests are causing a nuisance or excessive noise, this can be referred either to the local authority or to the courts and may also be enforceable through the restrictive covenants affecting the property.

My colleague Zoe Burcombe has put together a comprehensive article that outlines how to stop someone from using their house as an airbnb, and your legal rights as a neighbour. Read it here.

Airbnb: Can you enforce a restrictive covenant?

Anna has represented various clients dealing with Airbnb and Restrictive Covenant issues.

"Whether a restrictive covenant can be enforced will depend largely on how it is written and what is included. It is an area of the law where the devil is in the detail. 

I can think of two examples that show why this is the case.

I acted for a neighbour complaining that the property next door was breaching a restrictive covenant by using it for Airbnb rentals. They were unable to stop their neighbour from using the property this way, as the power to enforce the covenant sat with the original property developer and not the neighbour.

However, in another very similar case, my client was on the receiving end of the enforcement of the restrictive covenant and the neighbour did have the power to enforce the restrictive covenant."

Advice on Airbnb restrictive covenants

If you want to stop a neighbour from using their home for Airbnb rentals, the first step should be to look at any restrictive covenants. We can go through these with you if, as is often the case, they are not totally clear. Even if the covenants are not enforceable by a neighbouring property, an action for nuisance may be an alternative option to consider.

Advice on Airbnb restrictive covenants

If you want to stop a neighbour from using their home for Airbnb rentals, the first step should be to look at any restrictive covenants. We can go through these with you if, as is often the case, they are not totally clear.

How do I complain about an Airbnb guest?

As well as the options set out above, complaints can also be referred directly to Air Bnb.

Airbnb dispute resolution solicitors

Anna is one of the bright and knowledgeable lawyers in our dispute resolution team. She has experience in dealing with Airbnb disputes representing property owners, tenants, and neighbours.

If you have been affected by any of the issues discussed in this article, we offer a free initial chat for all new clients. You can call Anna on 01202 491706 or contact us here.

The content of this article, blog or video is not intended as specific legal advice. For tailored assistance, please contact a member of our team.