Subletting of Properties through platforms such as Airbnb

portada subarriendo de propeidad por plataformas

Subleasing of properties by platforms

In Colombia, in the case of a property used for urban housing, the law establishes that the lessee is prohibited from subleasing, unless the lessor expressly authorizes or indicates this possibility in the lease contract. In the event of sublease without such express authorization, the lessor may unilaterally terminate the lease for breach of contract and, additionally, the lessor is entitled to demand payment of the penalty clause.

It is important to mention that the authorization must be express and in writing because in case this is not in the contract, nor is there a prohibition by the lessor, the law forbids it. In addition, the sublease must comply with the same conditions and terms established in the original lease agreement between the owner and the lessee. In addition, the sublessee acquires the rights and obligations that correspond to the initial lessee in relation to the property.

Currently with the emergence of digital platforms such as Airbnb, HomeAway or Booking, it has become a popular practice to rent properties on a long-term basis and then rent them again for shorter terms on these platforms. In Colombia, the rental of a property for less than 30 days as a tourist accommodation service is regulated under decree 2590 of 2009 and law 300, which is the general tourism law. In this sense, the contract that arises between the lessor and the guest is not governed by urban housing regulations.

The law indicates that tourist homes and other types of non-permanent lodging, in their condition of properties destined to the provision of tourist services, must be registered with the National Tourism Registry. Obtaining the registration is a mandatory prerequisite for the property to be used as a tourist dwelling. In addition, in the horizontal property regulations of buildings and residential complexes where one or more properties are destined, in whole or in part, to the permanent or occasional provision of tourist housing services, the possibility of allocating them for such use must be expressly established.

Thus, the subleasing of properties through digital platforms is not fully regulated within the regulatory framework, so taking into account the regulations of urban housing and tourism, it is necessary to have the express permission of the lessor, to have the possibility of using the property for tourist housing and to be registered in the National Tourism Registry.