A man who breached the terms of his lease by using his flat on the Holland estate in Spitalfields Tower Hamlets as a holiday let has agreed to pay nearly £50,000 back to EastendHomes.
The leaseholder was repeatedly advised by EastendHomes that he was breaking the law and breaching the terms of his lease by renting out the first-floor flat as a holiday let over a four-year period from 2016 to 2020.
EastendHomes were first alerted to the unlawful holiday sublet by residents living on Holland Estate who were constantly experiencing ant-social behaviour problems caused by visitors to the property.
Despite this the leaseholder continued to allow the two-bedroom property to be advertised on various websites for up to £220 a night.
EastendHomes applied to the First-Tier Tribunal who found that the leaseholder had breached the terms of his lease despite his 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 the leaseholder, 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 the leadseholders claims about the lodger were untrue.
Despite the Tribunal’s ruling, the leaderholder continued to maintain that he had done nothing wrong.
EastendHomes decided to forfeit the lease and faced with losing the flat, he agreed to pay the registered provider £48,000 including legal costs. It has pledged to re-invest the money back into Holland estate in consultation with the local resident Estate Management Board.
John Henderson, managing director of EastendHomes, 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.”