With the rapid expansion of AirBnb and other such online letting services, landlords need to ensure they have the right asset manager keeping an eye on their premises.
In today’s rental market (especially in high demand and high rent areas) it is apparent that many tenants are listing the property they are renting on AirBnb. What a lot of landlords are unaware of are the legal and potential liability problems that may occur if their tenants are doing this.
If you have an entrepreneurial tenant using these sites to sublet your property, you should be concerned.
• How do you know who is staying at your property?
• Have they been properly screened like your tenant was?
• The potential now exists for dozens of people to be passing through your property at almost any time.
Under the Residential Tenancies Act this is defined as subletting. In accordance with the Tenancy Act a tenant must not, without the written permission from the Landlord, Sublet the premises.
As you can begin to imagine, subleasing can give rise to all sorts of issues:
• Who is coming and going?
• Do they have a criminal record?
• Have they been blacklisted as a tenant?
• What liability will you have?
• Who has the keys to the property?
• Has everyone returned the keys or are their numerous sets out there floating around?
• What if they do not leave?
• What about the extra wear and tear?
• The list can go on and on.
More importantly many Landlords are not aware that this type of short- term holiday letting is classified as a business and can compromises the Landlords insurance on the premises.
Landlords insurance will deny ANY and all claims in the case that they find out the premises is being rented like a business and Yes…Airbnb is a business. Insurers could also have the policy invalidated or cancel the landlords insurance entirely which could have significant consequences for the Owner.
If your premises are situated in a Strata Title building it is likely that the Owners Corporation will also have by-laws on short term rentals in the building and any temporary or short-term accommodation may contravene the building’s planning approval under the Local Environmental Plan and as such could attract large fines under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act.
At Rose & Jones we regularly keep an eye on such websites like AirBnB, Stayz and Gumtree, and are vigilant in protecting our client’s assets. All tenants are made aware that they are not permitted under any circumstances to sublet the premises in any such way and if they are caught they could face having their lease terminated with only 14 days notice.