For UK hosts: Nemcova v Fairfield (‘the Airbnb ruling’): Stirring up the Hornets’ Nest of Short-Term Lets

Are any of you aware of the UK ruling in 2016 where UK leaseholders who rent out the whole property on a short-term basis could be in breach of their leases if the lease states that the property should only be used as a private residence?

How have UK hosts dealt with this?

Thank you in advance


Dealt with as far as…?
If it was my tenant - I would evict them as my leases say no subletting.
I would not want to stay with a host who was subletting to me.


I think there have been some discussions on this subject here (though not strictly specifying the Nemcova ruling) Maybe do a search for “leasehold” as I think this term isn’t used in the US.

@Debthecat, leaseholders in the UK are not necessarily tenants - they may be owners of their home while the freeholder owns the land the property is on.

It’s not impossible to get your Freeholder to agree to short-term rental. We allowed it for a small block of flats we inherited, after getting the agreement of all three leaseholders, and with a set of strict guidelines about noise, parking etc. I do fear, though, that after Transport for London’s withdrawal of Uber’s licence, conditions for companies like Airbnb , particularly in cities, are going to get much tougher. Whether you think this is a good or bad thing may depend on which side of the fence you are on, but I certainly wouldn’t advise anyone to invest in a property in the UK which relies on short-termal rental for finance at the moment. Probably better, in London at least, to just buy the property, leave it empty and watch the price rise daily!

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There’s nothing about subletting in our lease. How would a guest know anyway?

Are you in the UK @CoachWalker letting out a whole listing?

Yes. That’s why I prefaced my post with the country

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Thanks. nothing shows up under a search for “leasehold” (apart from my post and your reply)

Having been in both Singapore and Japan where there are serious issues about renting out properties as short term lets, as well as in New York…when in the house rules they ask you not to mention that you are using the accommodation as a Airbnb guest because it is against the City / building / lease rules and there is a risk that you can be asked to leave. Where you avoid the neighbours because the result of your stay may have the host kicked out…that is why I will only stay with an owner and where it is legal!


This issue has been discussed many, many times although in the American market we don’t use the term leasehold. This was one of the longer and more heated discussions of yore.

Thanks. The legal ruling only applies to the UK market. Each country having their own laws regarding leases

Yes, I am aware. I am just pointing out that discussions regarding the offering of an STR you don’t own have happened many times on this forum and the threads usually touch on many local municipalities. Best of luck with this issue!

We do have it in Hawaii…but it refers to a different thing. If you buy your home “fee simple” it means you own the land and the home. If you buy leasehold property here you only lease the land (usually farmland) pay a yearly fee to the owner, a large entity such as Bishop Estates, and you must actually be farming. They come and check and they take a portion of your proceeds.

You can build a home but it’s considered a temporary structure. You can renew the lease, if it is offered, but sometimes leases run out and this is why you see rundown or abandoned homes or shacks in rural areas of Hawaii. The lease ran out and the people left.

Just to clarify. I think Hawaii is the only state that has leasehold property.

In some cases it’s been a good thing because it’s kept large tracts of land out of the hands of developers.

In the U.K. You can own your home, but lease the land it is on, the leases are sometimes 100 years long. There are some properties like that here in Canada.

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