A man who breached the terms of his lease by using his flat in Tower Hamlets as a holiday let has agreed to pay back EastendHomes nearly £50,000.
The leaseholder Mr Singh was repeatedly advised by EastendHomes that he was breaking the law and breaching the terms of his lease by renting out his flat as a holiday let over a 4 year period from 2016-2020. EastendHomes were first alerted to the unlawful holiday sublet by residents living on Holland Estate who were constantly experiencing ASB problems caused by visitors to the property.
Despite this Mr Singh continued to allow the 2-bedroom flat to be advertised on various websites for up to £220 a night.
EastendHomes applied to the First-Tier Tribunal who found that Mr Singh had breached the terms of his lease despite Mr Singh’s claims that a former lodger had advertised the property without his knowledge. EastendHomes’ solicitors, Batchelors, had traced the former “lodger” who told them that he had never lived with Mr Singh, and that he had to share the flat with other people who only stayed a few days at a time. The Tribunal was satisfied that Mr Singh’s claims about the “lodger” were untrue.
Despite the Tribunal’s ruling, Mr Singh continued to maintain that he had done nothing wrong and provided a letter in support from his accountant. Unfortunately for Mr Singh, his accountant had been removed from the register of chartered accountants last year because he had been found to be dishonest.
EastendHomes decided to forfeit the lease. Faced with losing the flat, Mr Singh agreed to pay EastendHomes £48,000 including legal costs.
EastendHomes’ Managing Director John Henderson said:
It is unlawful for leaseholders to advertise their housing association or council flats on Airbnb or Booking.com, so if you know of anyone who is doing so, please let your landlord know so that they can take action. We are obviously really pleased the Tribunal ruling has found in our favour and that we can now re-invest this money back into Holland Estate for the community to benefit.
A resident spokesperson for Holland Estate Management Board said:
Residents on Holland Estate welcome the successful action taken by EastendHomes. This leaseholder was not only unlawfully subletting his property he was doing so with no consideration for our local community. It’s very positive that the money will return to our estate and we are currently discussing ideas around environmental improvements.