The age of digital disruption: short-term letting


Short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb and Stayz are disrupting the property industry at a rapid rate.

The issue brings an abundance of opinions (which often differ greatly) and for the most part, the laws that apply to short-term letting are yet to catch up with the technology that has made it so popular.

While some owners in strata properties see short-term letting as an opportunity to make extra cash, others may not want short-term letting operating in their properties at all due to concerns around security, damage, common property use and the impact guests may have on their quality of life.

There is no “one-size fits all” approach to address short-term letting, so our industry leading managers have complied their top tips on managing Airbnb within a strata property.


If you are wishing to be a host…

  • Know the rules. Prior to listing your property online, check your by-laws/rules, council regulations and state laws. A simple check of the documents will avoid unnecessary hassle, expense and illegal disruption. If the regulations and laws are unclear, check with your strata manager.

NSW tip: The NSW Government has recently released a proposed short-term letting policy. For more information click HERE.

  • Consider your neighbours. You never really know who is going to be staying in your apartment and it’s likely the person you’re hosting could be excited about their holiday and party a little too hard. If your neighbours get upset by any sort of noise disruption, or start work early in the morning, Airbnb may not be for you.
  • Advise the committee of your decision to short-term let. This allows for open dialogue between yourself, neighbours and the committee avoiding possible tension.
  • Set easy to understand “house rules” . Outline key information for guests such as building by-laws/rules and what (if any) access guests have to common facilities. This gives you some control over your Airbnb guests, and sets clear rules and boundaries before people book your property. It may be useful to show your suggested rules to the committee prior to listing your property to gain their feedback.

PICA Group tip: Pay close attention to by-laws/rules regarding visitor parking, maximum occupancy, smoking, pets and garbage areas when writing your “house rules”.


If there are issues with short-term letting in your building…

  • Talk to the offending owner. Most issues within a strata property are caused by a lack of knowledge. Simply discussing the disruption or issue you are experiencing with the responsible owner may resolve the issue or you may be able to find a compromise. If you need to constantly do this, escalating the issue to your committee/body corporate may be the most appropriate next step.
  • Create a by-law/rule. The success of this is unfortunately dependent on your state laws and local council. A common way this can be successfully implemented is by passing a by-law/rule outlining that residents must must follow local council regulations. Legal advice may be needed to see if this is right for your property.

NSW tip: Should the proposed NSW legislation be passed owners corporations will have the ability to put in place a by-law/rule banning short-term letting by non-owner occupiers. For more information click HERE.

  • Report residents. If a tenant is listing an apartment online and does not have permission to do so, you can report them to the owner or property manager. If they do not have permission they are potentially breaking their terms of lease.


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