Property Litigation Expert Comments On Renting Out Homes
A property litigation lawyer at Irwin Mitchell has called on homeowners thinking about renting out their houses during the London 2012 Olympics to take care and follow the letter of the law when arranging lettings.
With the hugely anticipated sporting event now just months away, more and more people living in London and the surrounding area are thinking about how they can avoid the expected influx of visitors to the capital but also benefit in the short term.
One particular avenue of interest for such people with homes in the city is to let their properties out to those who are keen to get into the city and enjoy the top-class sporting action.
However, Danny Revitt, a Partner and expert in property disputes at Irwin Mitchell, has warned that there is plenty for such homeowners to bear in mind before renting out their pads.
He outlined: “The Olympic Games is undoubtedly going to be huge and people from across the globe will be heading to London to soak up the atmosphere. This is a great opportunity for those with plans to escape the madness, who also have their eye on making some money while doing so.
“However, we would urge people to think carefully before making such decisions as there is every possibility they could let themselves in for a lot more than they bargained for.
“There are many legal considerations affecting short-term letting which residents should absolutely make sure they do not ignore, or they could face significant problems going forward.
“For example, homeowners should check the terms of insurance policies, mortgages and, if the house is leasehold, their lease to ensure that offering the property up to let is not in any way a breach of the agreements you have in place.
“Another very important issue for Londoners to consider is that a number of local authorities tend to control any lettings made for under 90 days. This means that some councils may require you to request planning permission to get approval for a short-term let across the sporting event.”
Danny added that people should also be wise to the issue of assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) and how this could impact on your rights as a homeowner if you choose to let a property during the Games.
“It would be worth checking with those intending to stay at your property as to whether they are visiting London to work as part of the events, or simply to take in the sights and sounds. If people are just holidaying there is little chance that any agreement put in place would be an AST.
“However, if people are working the law could view the agreement made as an AST, meaning that strict rules need to be complied with in relation to the holding of any deposit paid and a tenant may be able to stay at the property – as long as they pay rent – for six months. Not ideal if you were only hoping to let the house for a few weeks!”