November 7, 2023 9:57 am

Insert Lead Generation
Nikka Sulton

An Airbnb survey, which was initially reported by Landlord Today, has sparked a nationwide debate in major newspapers and media outlets. The survey reveals a significant trend in response to the growing challenges of rising living costs. According to Airbnb, an overwhelming 80% of renters are actively seeking avenues to supplement their income. This statistic highlights the financial strain that many people are experiencing in today’s economic climate.

One of the notable findings from the survey is that while many renters express a willingness to leverage their living space to generate extra income, only a fraction of them believe that their landlords permit such arrangements. In fact, the survey indicates that just 45% of renters feel that their landlords would allow them to share a spare room or offer short-term accommodation. This discrepancy between the desire to earn additional income and the perceived landlord restrictions presents a unique challenge for both renters and landlords in the current rental market.

The survey’s results shed light on the changing dynamics in the rental market, where the desire for supplementary income clashes with potential landlord restrictions. As the cost of living continues to rise, renters are seeking creative solutions to make ends meet. The debate surrounding this issue has raised questions about the evolving relationship between tenants and landlords, as well as the need for more open and flexible rental agreements that can benefit both parties.

The Daily Mail recently highlighted a concerning incident in the rental market when a landlord discovered her property listed on Airbnb by her long-term tenant, all done without her consent. This incident has triggered a passionate response from a legal expert specializing in landlord law, who emphasizes the illegality and potential risks associated with sub-letting under existing legislation.

Des Taylor, the casework director at Landlord Licensing & Defence, strongly rebuked Airbnb’s suggestions, labeling them as irresponsible and misleading. He stressed that sub-letting typically violates the terms of most tenancy agreements, creating legal liabilities for landlords that could potentially lead to substantial fines, often reaching tens of thousands of pounds.

Des Taylor, a prominent figure in the field of landlord law, raises a significant concern regarding sub-letting, highlighting the potential transformation of numerous properties into Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). These HMOs are subject to rigorous regulations and active enforcement by local authorities, creating legal complexities for both tenants and landlords.

Taylor points out that many individuals, both tenants and landlords, may not be aware that it takes just three unrelated people, living in the same property, to classify it as an HMO. The legal definition involves ‘three or more persons from two or more households,’ and the consequences of falling into this category are extensive.

In response to Airbnb’s survey, Taylor expresses his reservations about what he views as misguided advice that could lead tenants to establish illegal HMOs. These properties are subject to a plethora of regulations that must be adhered to, and failure to do so can result in legal complications.

Furthermore, Taylor emphasizes that these regulations carry offenses associated with ‘strict liability,’ implying that landlords can be held accountable for these offenses even if they were not aware of committing them intentionally. This adds another layer of complexity and risk for property owners.

Des Taylor highlights a crucial point, explaining that when a tenant sublets and unintentionally transforms a property into a house in multiple occupation (HMO), the landlord becomes susceptible to severe enforcement actions by the local housing authority. This poses a significant risk and legal liability for property owners.


Furthermore, Taylor underscores the presence of ‘additional licensing’ schemes in more than a third of London boroughs, which closely regulate occupancy. Landlords who inadvertently become HMO managers without their awareness face a substantial threat of incurring fines of up to £30,000 for each violation under the HMO management regulations. Additionally, they may face an average fine of £15,000 for operating an unlicensed HMO per offense.

In conclusion, Taylor emphasizes that regardless of the results from Airbnb’s survey, they do not offer any assistance to landlords. Instead, these results may drive more landlords out of the rental business, as they increasingly believe it’s untenable to continue in an environment where tenants are encouraged by large corporations that publish survey findings without taking into account the underlying legal complexities.

“Airbnb must now explain to its hosts and potential hosts the legal consequences of sub-letting rooms in their homes and how legally dangerous this would be.”

Amanda Cupples, the general manager of UK & Northern Europe, states: “Sharing a spare room on a short-term basis can allow renters to boost their income and help them with the increasing cost of living. We encourage renters to check the terms of their tenancy agreements and with their landlord to see if home sharing is a possibility.”



Read more Property Investing News HERE

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}