If a landlord’s consent is being sought for the tenant to sublet the property to Airbnb guests and in return for the consent the tenant offers a percentage
of the Airbnb earnings, could the landlord legally accept that offer under the RTA?
Interestingly, the Tenancy Tribunal has recently ruled that Airbnb is subletting and so the tenant requires the owner’s written consent.
The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 provides that the landlord cannot charge key money which is a payment for granting the subletting. However, in the case
of a sublet, the landlord can recover their legal and non-legal expenses. Furthermore, the rent must be at market rates and any increase of the rent
must be carried out in accordance with the procedure in section 24 of the Act. This suggests that Parliament intended for rents to be fixed amounts
rather than a percentage of variable sub-tenancy income.
The tenancy agreement may also impose restrictions on subletting. Furthermore, some developments have required that short term tenancies must be done through
an agent, which is aimed at preventing Airbnb type arrangements, so we recommend that the landlord also check the title for any such provisions.
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Disclaimer: the content of this article is general in nature and not intended as a substitute for specific professional advice on any matters and should not be relied upon for that purpose.