Airbnb A Warning For All Landlords

Airbnb A Warning For All Landlords.

Over the last few months there has been a lot of speculation online and within the media about a new property service Airbnb. On the surface it seems like a great idea.The Silicon Valley startup, founded in 2008, lets people list their spare rooms, or even their entire home, for holiday leases online, opening up thousands of new places to stay in cities across the world. The site appears to offer individuals the opportunity to rent out their property for a bit of extra cash, risk-free, without the need to involve companies or professionals. Very quickly it has gained significant media exposure and is seen a positive example of the new ‘sharing economy’ with the internet powering its growth via the use of apps and mobile technology.     

But the site’s listings may not be what they first seem. According to a recent survey conducted byThe Guardian many of the properties are being rented out by tenants without the knowledge of the main landlord. The rise of these semi-professional landlords is causing concern among not only within the hotel Industry but is potentially an extra headache for those struggling to get on the capital’s crowded housing ladder. An ever decreasing pool of property is being taken off the market to cater for short-term lets.

The analysis of more than 13,000 Airbnb listings in London – by far the site’s biggest UK market – shows more than 6,600 are leasing out an entire home or flat, rather than a spare room. More than 1,500 people listing properties on the site have multiple listings, with 180 listing five or more properties or rooms across the greater London area. The issues caused by this are significant. Firstly several highly publicised cases have resulted in incidents of  anti-social behaviour and criminal damage resulting in 10’s of £1000’ s of pounds to landlord’s property. Many have been unaware that their tenants without their permission, or knowledge, have been effectively sub-letting the landlords property resulting in significant property damage and legal problems. Secondly this has caused huge issues with the local authorities and councils who are looking to regulate this type of ’short term letting’.Thirdly those landlords who have returned to substantially damaged properties have found that their insurance will refuse to cover the damage to the property, and may also have lost furniture and other possessions, to individuals they cannot trace and have no realistic chance of recovery. Conversely those landlords who have sought to capitalise on this new phenomenon to minimise void periods have also experienced similar problems.

We always urge all landlords to ensure they have a robust legal framework to deal with all property rentals.This should always include tenant referencing and caveats that ensure that their property is protected via a solid and binding legal agreement. No matter how enticing the opportunities offered by new technology are landlords ignore this at their peril.

Precise Treatment Reduces Pain

Detail needs experts. Expert time is worth it when it saves you a costly mistake. Main objective: Get the property back. Best action: Very precise treatment.

Serving a notice is actually the most important part of the possession process.

It isn’t complicated but one tiny error can cause dreadful problems.

That’s why we say, don’t DIY and don’t use internet amateurs. It’s not worth it.

1. Compliance Errors
If the tenant doesn’t leave at Step1, the notice had better be valid. Because then it has to go to court. Any little error can get a case thrown out. And you have to start all over again.

2. Attempting Short-Cuts.
In an effort to be quick, some internet services aimed at landlords are using short-cuts around the process. But if the tenant doesn’t leave (50%) these practices can backfire at court and the case thrown out.

3. Trying to Save Pennies.
Internet services have mushroomed and landlords can expect to get what they pay for. To get the process done PROPERLY it takes a certain amount of time for an expert to look over a file and be accurate. Our fees cover that expert time.

Chasing courts for dates, arranging advocates and preparing court papers is time consuming. Especially if you’ve never done it before.

Some landlord and agents have served notices themselves. They believed they were saving a few pounds but it often ended up costing them more.

If you lose a claim, the court can order you to pay the tenant’s defence cost, which can run to hundreds or thousands of pounds.

Our in-house Solicitors are there to get your property back as fast as they can. And we protect landlords and agents from themselves.

As experts, we know that in the rush to get things done, errors can happen. And those errors can can come back later to mess up your case – and the whole process has to start again.

You can speed things up – give us accurate information quickly. Help us to help you.

There are services on the web who will prepare papers BUT they get you to pay the court-fee separately and get you to sign the court papers – so in fact they don’t represent you!

If your notice (at Step1) wasn’t drafted or served correctly you risk wasting your court fees and losing a whole lot of time because of a small error.

We won’t let your case anywhere near a court until we have checked every little detail. To make sure you don’t waste time or money, at Step-2 we first only charge part of the fee.

If your notice is fine, then you just pay the balance of the fee and we issue the claim. If there is a problem with your notice or paperwork, we will advise you what to do next.

Courts take the view that possession proceedings can make someone homeless. So they are very careful. If there’s any error in the notice, they throw the case out. It’s the process. Get it right or lose.

If the notice is invalid, you have to start all over again. The weeks or months you’ve waited are wasted. If there were rent arrears, there are now more.

If there weren’t rent arrears, they might now start. More fees. More lost rent. And still no possession. Tenants can be alerted to making a counter-claim.

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