Probably not. Check the terms of your lease and if the lease states that you should not use the property for any purpose other than a private unit in the occupation of one family only then short-term holiday lets will not be permissible.

There have been a few recent (2018) cases that make it clear short lets breach common lease covenants.

Nemcova v Fairfield Rents Ltd [2016] UKUT 303 (LC)

For the covenant within the lease to be observed, the occupier for the time being must be using it as his or her private residence. For a property to be used as the occupier’s private residence, there must be a degree of permanence going beyond being there for a weekend or a few nights in the week. Whilst a person who occupies for a matter of days and then leaves can claim that during the period of occupation he or she is using the property as his or her private residence, the occupation is transient, so transient that the occupier would not consider the property he or she is staying in as being his or her private residence even for the time being. Granting very short term lettings (days and weeks rather than months) breaches the covenant within the lease.

Bermondsey Exchange Freeholders Limited v Kevin Geoghegan Conway

HHJ Jan Luba QC dismissed an appeal against the decision in Bermondsey Exchange Freeholders Limited v Kevin Geoghegan Conway, upholding the District Judge’s findings that short let use was in breach of lease clauses stating:

Not to use or permit the use of the Demised Premises or any part thereof otherwise than as a residential flat with the occupation of one family only.

Not at any time to assign sub-let or part with possession of part only of the Demised Premises.

Not to part with or share possession of the whole of the Demised Premises or permit any company or person to occupy the same save by way of an assignment or underlease of the whole of the Demised Premises.

Without prejudice to the absolute prohibitions hereinbefore contained not to assign or underlet the whole of the Demised Premises without the prior written consent of the Landlord such consent not to be unreasonably withheld.

Central London County Court, 1 May 2018.

20 Nottingham Place Management Company Ltd v Cooper

In 20 Nottingham Place Management Company Ltd v Cooper LON/00BK/LBC/2016/0020, short let use of the whole property was found to be a breach of the following lease clauses:

(i) That the Lessee will use the demised premises for the purposes of a self-contained private residence in one family occupation only and/or for office purposes And will not divide or sub-let part of the demised premises (Clause 4)

(ii) Nor shall any act deed or thing be done in or about or in connection with the property which shall or may be or become a nuisance (whether indicatable or not) or which may grow or lead to the damage annoyance inconvenience or disturbance of the Lessors the tenants or occupants of any other flats in the property … or detrimental to the reputation of the property as a block of high-class private residential flats (Clause 5)

(iii) That the Lessee will not use or permit to be used the demised premises or any part thereof … for any purpose which would depreciate the character and reputation of the demised premises and the property (Clause 6);

(iv) That the Lessee will not do or permit to be done in or upon the demised premises or any part thereof anything which may render any policy or policies of insurance effected in respect of the property by the Lessors void or voidable (Clause 12);

(v) That the Lessee will not assign underlet or part with the possession of the whole (or part as aforesaid) of the demised premises (except by way of mortgage or charge of this Lease) without the prior consent in writing of the Lessors such consent not be unreasonably withheld (Clause 13).

Check the terms of your lease and if any of the covenants are likely to fall foul of any of the findings from the cases above, you probably cannot let your leasehold property for short-term (holiday) lets.

Further Reading

Short term lets, long term consequences (Nearly Legal blog)

20 Nottingham Place Management Company Ltd v Cooper LON/00BK/LBC/2016/0020

Can a freeholder/manager prevent a leaseholder from letting out their property on Airbnb and similar short term letting platforms? (Anthony Gold blog)

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Can I let my leasehold property for short-term (holiday) lets?
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