Guernsey: Airbnb And Guernsey Property Law: What Homeowners And Tenants Need To Know

Last Updated: 11 July 2019
Article by Martyn Baudains

Reports in the media suggest there has been a large increase in the number of properties in the Island listed with online agents, with an increase of some 500% in the past four years. For those unfamiliar with online agents, like Airbnb, they allow people to offer short-term lodgings or home stays for a fee.

At the time of writing there are 114 Guernsey homes listed on Airbnb with an assorted range of accommodation on offer, from the panoramic views of a luxury modern villa with a pool and stunning sea views over the east coast to a private room in a house.

While the statistics are fantastic news for tourism, it is essential that any homeowners wishing to register with an online agent to offer short-term lodgings comply with any applicable restrictions.

Tourism Restrictions

Guernsey law regulates tourist accommodation and restrictions are in place for those intending to make accommodation available to visitors to the Island. In Guernsey, anyone providing sleeping accommodation, board, lodging or board and lodging for reward for any person for a period of three weeks or less must have a boarding permit. Boarding permits may be obtained from the Committee for Economic Development by contacting Marketing & Tourism.  

Title Restrictions

Where the property is an apartment it is necessary to ensure the relevant estate schedule and any regulations have no restrictions on this type of letting. With online agents becoming more popular over recent years, these restrictions are likely to begin to appear more often in the legal documents for apartment blocks.

Lending Restrictions

Another consideration for homeowners is whether any mortgage or loan in place over the property contains restrictions on any form of letting or sharing occupation of the property without the lender's consent. These restrictions are very commonplace where a homebuyer's mortgage has been entered into (rather than a buy to let).

Failure to comply with the terms of the mortgage and obtain lender's consent risks triggering an event of default which would result in the lender being able to call in the loan.

Lease Restrictions

If you rent your property you need to consider whether you have the authority to sub-let the home or share a room within the property. Often residential leases in Guernsey contain restrictions over subletting, either absolutely or without first obtaining the prior written consent of your landlord.

Listing your property with an online agent in breach of the terms of your lease may have serious consequences which could potentially lead to the landlord seeking a court order for early termination of the lease, recovering possession of the property and a claim for damages to compensate for any loss they have suffered. 

Planning Restrictions

If the use of your property changes from residential use class to tourist accommodation, otherwise known as 'visitor economy' use, then you may need to seek planning permission for a change of use. Whether a change of use has occurred will depend on the circumstances, but our Planning department has issued some guidance on what is considered minor or occasional use as guest accommodation:

  • The primary use of the dwelling should remain as your home and, in addition, there must not be a 'material change of use' of the property having regard to the number of rooms in use for bed and breakfast purposes and comings and goings associated with this use.
  • For example, the Planning department say, one bedroom in a three bedroom dwelling could be used for bed and breakfast accommodation without resulting in a material change of use, but use of two bedrooms and a separate sitting/dining room for bed and breakfast accommodation would require planning permission as this would amount to a material change of use.
  • Your home can be used as a holiday let for up to a maximum of ten weeks over the course of a single year while you are away from the Island on holiday, on the proviso that no individual letting shall exceed 28 days' duration.

You should also take advice to ensure the building complies with local Building Regulations and the Guernsey Fire Service Law.

Insurance Considerations

In addition to the restrictions set out above it is necessary to inform your home and contents insurer that you are considering registering with an online agent to take on paying guests. Failure to seek prior consent of the insurer may risk the insurance company refusing to pay out if the property is being used against the terms of the insurance policy. You should also seek advice from your insurer about Public Liability Insurance cover as this may be required under Health & Safety legislation.

Food Hygiene

If the accommodation offering includes the provision or preparation of food you should also seek advice from Environmental Health. You may be required to engage with them to ensure the premises are fit to be used for the preparation of food, which people now know as the hygiene star rating system.

If you are looking to register with an online agent we would recommend you review any contracts and legal documents in respect of your property before doing so to understand what rules and restrictions may affect your ability to host. Where no restrictions prevent you from hosting guests through Airbnb, it is also worth remembering that any money you earn as a host is taxable income and should be declared.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions