The City of Westminster v Kothari LON/00BK/LBC/2019/0087
30th April 2020
The subletting of a flat via Airbnb and Booking.com constituted a breach of a covenant against business user and a breach of covenant that the premises be used for private residential purposes only.
The Applicants are the freehold owners of Cameron House (“the Property”). The Respondent is the long leaseholder of a flat within the Property (“the Flat”)
The Lease prohibited the Respondent using the Flat:
“for any trade profession or business whatsoever but to keep and use the Demised premises as a single private flat for residential purposes only”
The Applicant alleged that Respondent had been advertising, and indeed, subletting the Flat for use by paying guests through both Booking.com and Airbnb platforms on a short-term, holiday let basis. Screenshots of the online adverts were provided in evidence.
The Respondent did not attend the hearing.
Had the Respondent been subletting the Flat in breach of covenant?
The Tribunal was satisfied that the Respondent was in breach of the covenant set out above not to use the Flat for business purposes and not to use it for other an private residential purposes only.
This case is a reminder that letting a flat on a short-term, holiday basis is likely to constitute a breach of the usual prohibitions against using the premises as a business and any requirement that it be used as a private dwelling only.
Expertise: Landlord & Tenant
This content is provided free of charge for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. No responsibility for the accuracy and/ or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by any member of Chambers or by Chambers as a whole.