What's Behind The Door In Short-term Letting? - SSKB - Strata Managers | Community Experts

What’s Behind The Door In Short-term Letting?


SSKB - Strata Managers looks at short-term letting programs such as Airbnb and Stayz

Short-term letting companies such as Stayz and Airbnb are a boon to some property owners but a bane to many resident Lot Owners and Committees.

These holiday rentals earn quite a bit of pocket money for owners. Even renters have been known to sublet their apartments (sometimes without the permission of their landlord).

Renting out an unused room (or apartment) for a night or two, seems like a win-win situation: someone gets a desirable place to stay and the owner earns a bit of cash.

Open the door to the ‘sharing economy’ and there are major issues for a Body Corporate or an Owners Corporation Committee to consider:

  • Security;
  • Noise and Nuisance;
  • Damage; and
  • Insurance.
SSKB Strata Managers examines the challenges of letting apartments for short-term rental through companies such as Stayz and Airbnb.
Strangers to stay at your place… Short-term letting can provide a nice bit of income for Lot Owners, but it does have its risks.

Security

One of the benefits of strata living is the opportunity to get to know the neighbours, and the security of quickly identifying who belongs and who doesn’t.

Security is at risk when lots are used for short-term holiday rental. Measures such as security keys and fobs are compromised when they are handed out, and potentially lost or not returned.

Noise and Nuisance

Most short-term stayers pass unnoticed and cause no trouble. Other people are nothing but trouble.

Parties held in short-stay units can have tragic consequences, as evidenced by the death in July of a young woman attending a party in one of Melbourne’s high rise buildings.

Even well-behaved guests can inadvertently cause a nuisance if they are unaware of the house rules and bylaws that govern a particular property.

SSKB gives you handy tips for dealing with noisy neighbours
Noise and nuisance can be an unexpected side effect of having short-term neighbours.

Damage

Damage to common property is also a significant risk factor.

It can be of a catastrophic variety, such as caused by a mini-riot of party-goers, or the accelerated wear and tear on communal facilities, such as swimming pools, barbecues and gym equipment.

In either event, the Body Corporate or Owners Corporation will be required to pay the price in repairs to the common property and insurance claims which can be a recipe for resentment and dispute.

Insurance

Communities need to satisfy themselves as to whether their existing Body Corporate or Owners Corporation insurance is adequate for covering short-term letting. If not, discussions with the letting Lot Owner over shouldering a greater increase in their insurance contribution should be canvased.

Can Short-Term Letting Be Banned?

In Queensland, the short answer is no.

SSKB Strata Managers looks at how Committee Members can deal with short-term letting through companies such as Stayz and Airbnb
Bylaws and house rules apply to everyone who stays in a strata community.

A Body Corporate cannot pass a rule or bylaw which restricts the type of residential use of a property.

It can, however, enforce bylaws or rules which apply to everyone who occupies a lot – not just owners or permanent renters. E.g. Aspects of security systems and provision of occupier names and contact details to the Resident Manager.

Under current Queensland law, short-term letting is prohibited in Body Corporate schemes only where such use is contrary to the local planning scheme.

In NSW, the state government passed an amendment to the Strata Schemes Management Act. Owners Corporations can now pass by-laws to ban short-term letting in units where the host is not present, provided they get a 75 per cent majority vote.

In Victoria, the government is considering granting Owners Corporations the power to fine unruly guests up to $1,100. Hosts would be charged up to $2,000.

SSKB is Australia’s leading strata management company specialising in delivering expert advice and management to Owners Corporation and Body Corporate communities.



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Recent Comments

2 Comments

Wayne F. On September 19, 2018 | Reply

All the comments above regarding the pitfall of short term letters could also apply to permanent renters and some owners alike. At least if there is a “bad” short stayer you know they are gone pretty soon. Try getting a disagreeable permanent renter out and it can be a trying experience.
I have been running a short term let property for 14 years, self managed for 2.5 years. 120 Guests over 2.5 years so far and not one complaint.
Many holiday apartments are managed by offsite Agents as well and allow after hours, self checkin by Guests. They too take the risk of not knowing who is going to be occupying their properties. The only problem Guests that we have encountered so far have been those booked by past offsite Agents , who then had trouble getting them to leave.

    SSKB On September 24, 2018 | Reply

    Hi Wayne,
    We agree that evicting a non conforming long term tenant and addressing an Owner who chooses to not comply with by-laws can be a drawn out painful affair for the residents and Resident Managers, where as the short term tenant is generally gone before they can be held accountable for any non compliance with by-laws or inconsiderate behaviour. However, for any resident living close by a short term let unit which may have a high frequency of disruption created by short term letting arrangements is also not an acceptable scenario. Each scheme and each Lot Owner and their residence or letting arrangements are different and are dealt with differently by the Committee of the day. We at SSKB work with all forms of living scenarios and personalities and we endeavour to achieve the best possible results for all concerned in the most efficient way possible. We find a more harmonious conclusion is achieved if the matter is addressed in a personable manner and if the matter can be kept out of the Office of the Commissioner. We thank you for your comments on this topic.

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