A rising trend among Australians is earning extra income through accomodation hosting websites such as Airbnb and Stayz. Tourists on a budget find this temporary living arrangement favorable compared to booking hotels. However, as landlord, what is your place in all of this? Whether you’re agreeable to the idea or not, it’s best to remind your tenants of the issues that will come up if they’re considering short term or holiday subletting.
Firstly, Section 238 of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (Qld) recognizes Airbnb guest occupancy to be characterised as a sublease. The standard RTA general tenancy agreement notes that the tenant may only sublet a premises if the landlord agrees in writing to the sublet or if the subletting is under an order of the Tribunal. If the tenant fails to comply, they may be in breach of the lease agreement as well as the RTA act.
Airbnb itself has landlords and property owners in mind through their terms and conditions. On their website, the user warrants and represents that the posting of a listing, the book of accommodation, and the guest’s stay at accommodation, will not breach any third party agreement.
Additionally, keep in mind whether the tenancy is zoned under pertinent planning laws. Local councils have laws regulating short term or holiday rentals. Gold Coast City Council is one such example. If these laws are breached, local authorities may resort to enforcement action.
Another concern is the tenant, usually unintentionally, voiding a landlord’s insurance policy. Most policies only cover permanent tenancies and not short term or holiday rentals. There are policies as well that do not cover subleasing at all. Should you agree to the subleasing, ensure that sufficient insurance is in place to cover such arrangements or that the tenant will not compromise any policies already in place.