Buy to Let

Shock threat to Airbnb hosts as mortgage lenders say it’s a breach of contract

HSBC said its mortgages are not for Airbnb users.

A spokesman said: “Our residential mortgages are designed for customers who intend to reside in the property on a permanent basis.

“If a customer has a change of circumstances, wishes to use their property for a different purpose or chooses to have temporary lodgers or tenants staying at their property, they should let us know, and each request will be looked at individually.” 

Yorkshire Building Society does not consider mortgage applications from “borrowers that intend to sublet their property”.

Metro Bank allows residential mortgage customers to rent out their homes on Airbnb or similar sites for up to 90 days a year without seeking prior approval.

Meanwhile, Virgin Money will allow customers to let a room in the short term, subject to prior approval and certain conditions, including only allowing one room of a property to be rented out.

Borrowers who want to rent out their property on a more formal basis must be given a “consent to let approval” and put a tenancy agreement in place.

What happens if I Airbnb anyway?

If your lender does not permit lettings on Airbnb, or similar services, and you go ahead you will be breaching your mortgage terms.

David Hollingworth, from London and Country, the mortgage broker, said “in theory” a lender could require that the mortgage be repaid due to the breach and that “could require the borrower to refinance the property”.

But Mr Hollingworth added that borrowers may never be caught out, especially if they are just letting rooms out occasionally.

However, he said lenders would find it relatively easy to monitor how properties are being used because the nature of services like Airbnb means they are listed online.

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