Landmark Decision Shines Light on Airbnb in Apartments

Market Insights
7 years ago
2 minutes

There’s a lot of talk about whether landlords should be allowed to lease their apartments through a short-stay website like Airbnb.

Opinions are divided: should landlords reserve the right to pick who stays in their property? Or is it unfair to other residents that these fly-in, fly-out guests are omitted from paying their share of repairs and maintenance?

What the residents say…

Residents pay good money to live in premium developments that are nice and quiet. They don’t want to see the place treated like a hotel with different faces greeting them in the hallway every day. And who can think of anything worse than endless groups of people celebrating birthdays, bucks-nights and footy-finals come the weekend? Then there’s the possible damage to common areas such as lifts, rooftop terraces and corridors. No one is accountable for that. And certainly not Airbnb. The site will just wipe their hands of the matter and pass your complaint onto the neighbour.

What the Airbnb-friendly landlords say…

Leasing out your apartment for short-stay tenants certainly has its benefits. Many downsizers opt for apartment-living so they can lock up and leave. And why not make a few bucks while you’re away? It makes perfect sense. 

What’s the solution?

The issue was highlighted in a landmark court case this month where a Victorian Supreme Court found apartment-dwellers cannot stop other landlords from renting out their properties to short-term tenants.

The closely-watched decision means such leasing sites can freely operate in Melbourne’s apartment buildings, and well, there’s not much owners corporations can do about it.

It’s likely the decision will reverberate around the rest of Australia.

Like Uber, the rise of Airbnb has sat in a grey area too long.

At least everyone will now know where they stand; regardless of whether they like the decision or not.