RENTERS on Skye have been warned against cashing-in by sub-letting their homes to tourists.

Skye and Lochalsh Housing Association said the tenants could be violating their tenancy agreement by using short-term letting websites such as Airbnb.

Earlier this year an analysis by the Chartered Institute of Housing found that one in 10 properties on Skye could be found on Airbnb, but now the housing association is telling tenants they risk eviction if they list their homes.

Lachie MacDonald, the chief executive of Skye and Lochalsh Housing Association, said: “The tenant’s agreement is clear. Tenants can’t operate a business from the property.

“We rely on the tenancy agreement between us and the tenant and that’s what we will be using to correspond with them about.”

He added that the same rules apply for people renting out a room or renting out a whole property.

He said: “We’re contacting the tenants to remind them of the obligations of the tenancy agreement. If they ignore this correspondence then the matters will be passed to our solicitors to take it further and implement the terms of our tenancy agreement.”

The association also posted a story on its Facebook page making tenants “aware” of an Airbnb host who rented out his central London council flat to tourists and was then fined and evicted.

Council tenant Toby Harman, 37, created the fake identity “Lara” on Airbnb to rent out his studio apartment.

The property, in Victoria, had been advertised since 2013 and received more than 300 reviews, Westminster City Council said.

Anti-fraud software had found Harman’s first name in reviews and connected the listing to him, and his bank statements showed he had been receiving payments from Airbnb for several years.

Scotland’s economy received a £93 million boost from Airbnb visitors in 2018 with Skye among the biggest gainers.

An analysis revealed that the largest island in the Inner Hebrides archipelago figured twice in the top 10 Airbnb list of guest arrival numbers in 2018.

The number of tourists visiting Skye has increased over recent years with many people drawn to attractions such as the Fairy Pools, the Fairy Glen and the island’s beaches and mountains.

But while many have welcomed the rise in visitor numbers, concerns have been raised about the pressures on the island’s infrastructure.

A recent survey found that few locals on Skye feel too many visitors are a problem. Instead nearly one-third named dangerous drivers as the main issue on the island and neighbouring areas.

The online resident’s survey – part of a project commissioned by destination management organisation SkyeConnect –was conducted in March and April, and, of the more than 250 responses it received, just three per cent named an over influx of tourists as a problem.

The research was carried out by the Moffat Centre – the tourism market research consultancy which is part of Glasgow Caledonian University.

SkyeConnect chairman Dave Till said: “Through the work of a task force we are starting to see progress with projects such as the Fairy Pools car park.

“However, we have received dozens of exciting and innovative infrastructure project proposals, and we need the public investment to make them happen to secure a sustainable future for not just our vital tourism sector, but for everyone who lives and works on Skye.”