A landlord has revealed they were left £10,000 out of pocket after their tenants sublet their rental property on Airbnb.
The landlord’s ordeal was the subject of the BBC’s Inside Out after the tenants continued to subletting the Bloombsbury flat on Airbnb despite several warnings from the letting agent.
The tenants were exposed when the landlord’s letting agent, Base Property Specialists ltd, arrived during a periodic inspection, agreed to by the tenants, to find the tenants checking a family into the property.
On further investigation the agent found the property listed on Airbnb, complete with 70 customer reviews.
Despite agreeing to cancel all bookings, remove the listing from the website and take down the key safe they had put up, the tenants continued to sublet the property despite being warned they were breaking several licensing laws.
After more warnings, the tenants refused to allow access to contractors who were due to fix a leak, which caused further damage to the property.
Base Property Specialists ltd have urged Airbnb to tackle the growing problem of unauthorised short lets.
Kristjan Byfield of Base Property, said: “One thing I found extremely disappointing was Airbnb’s refusal to take any action whatsoever. When we contacted them and provided evidence that the “hosts” were not the legal owners of the property and were in breach of the landlord’s mortgage and buildings insurance terms, local licensing laws, and both short-term let and HMO licensing, their response was ‘take it up with the tenants’.”
The landlord was eventually forced to evict the tenants with a Section 8 notice after employing the services of an eviction specialist.