Q. I have been renting my two bedroom apartment for the last two years and love it here, recently however following a change in my circumstances financially I have been thinking of advertising my spare room on Airbnb, quite a few of my colleagues are doing this to bring in some extra cash. What is your opinion of this and do you think my Landlord would be agreeable with this?
A. Airbnb is an extremely popular way to generate some extra cash from that spare room and certainly if you happen to be the legal owner of the property and as long as this is not in breach of your Head Lease (it could be if you are renting a Leashold property located on a residential development) then it is a perfectly fine way to help out financially, as long as you are aware of the pitfalls like any short let. However, if you are not the legal owner and only renting the apartment from the Landlord then the story is very different. If you were to do such a thing you are very likely to be in breach of contract. Most rental contracts would have a clause which prevents the tenant from sub-letting the whole or part of the property. In fact a number of tenants across the world have already been evicted for exactly this. In the UK if you have rented through a reputable agent you will have signed an AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy) agreement which we definitely have a clause that prevents you from subletting or taking in lodgers or paying guests without the Landlord or Agents prior consent. So whilst it may seem like a good solution you could actually be putting your whole tenancy at risk. If you are experiencing financial difficulty and feel that taking in a lodger to share the expenses will help then speak to your Landlord or agent and ask permission to fill the spare room legally. The new tenant could then be referenced and a new contract could be drawn up with their name added to the agreement, they would of course have to commit to at least 6 months.