Airbnb and Strata

Discussion in 'Innovative Techniques' started by jodes92, 29th May, 2015.

  1. jodes92

    jodes92 Member

    Joined:
    31st Jan, 2011
    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Hi Somersofters,

    I wrote a post recently on our recent experience with Airbnb- essentially we purchased our PPOR but couldn't get out of our lease without substantial costs, so opted to put our PPOR on Airbnb in order to avoid paying both mortgage and rent.

    We have a strata meeting coming up in a couple of weeks and have just received the agenda, with one of the items being, "Discuss Airbnb and Subletting". We currently have one more month long booking before we finally move in.

    The question is, if the discussion ends up resolving that Airbnb-ing/ Sub-letting is not allowed (as I am guessing it might be), if we were to continue Airbnbing, what can strata actually to do us?

    To clarify: If it is decided that Airbnbing is NOT actually allowed, we WILL stop (we have really only done it out of "necessity")- this topic is merely out of interest as I am intrigued- what can the strata company/ committee actually do? Kick us out? Fine us? Add a special levy? Report us to the cops? (Not facetious questions- actually interested) :)
     
  2. depreciator

    depreciator Member

    Joined:
    17th Dec, 2004
    Messages:
    4,462
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Yes, they will vote against it.
    And they will probably look at you while they do the vote and you will have to look down at your shoes or out the window or maybe get really interested in that loose thread on the sleeve of your jacket.
    If pressed, explain the situation. Tell them why you went down the Airbnb path - if you're young, mention financial problems and perhaps get a bit teary. Then tell them the date you are moving in and explain that there is a one month booking scheduled between now and then.
    Tell them you will show the incoming guests the strata by-laws and lay down some of your own laws to them. Explain that they are responsible people (unless you have rented the place to a bunch of backpackers) and that you are a phone call away if there are any issues.

    I'm betting there is nothing in the existing by-laws that mentions short term letting. By the time the strata agent is able to act, your guests will have been and gone.
     
  3. S.T

    S.T Member

    Joined:
    27th Jun, 2011
    Messages:
    1,183
    Media:
    4
    Location:
    Melbourne
    You'd probably vote against it now it's going to be your new PPOR anyway ;)
     
  4. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates ...and people wonder why?

    Joined:
    25th Jun, 2011
    Messages:
    5,391
    Media:
    144
    Location:
    Sydney - LNS
    It may go against the by-laws of the building however more importantly it probably breaches the LEP/DCP which might restrict or prohibit short term letting.

    As you aren't doing the weekend party house rental but a monthly situation it may be a little bit more palatable.
     
  5. depreciator

    depreciator Member

    Joined:
    17th Dec, 2004
    Messages:
    4,462
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    It would definitely breach the LEP.
    Councils are scrambling to catch up with this stuff and the ones in beachside suburbs are getting a fair bit of pressure.
    There was an Airbnb host in Erskineville in a strata building who went through the whole palaver with council (after another owner dobbed her in) of getting herself approved as a 'bed and breakfast'. She of course doesn't offer breakfast, but that is the only category the council could fit her into.
    She spent $4,000 on red tape and then several thousand on modifications to her flat - including adding a sink to her kitchen for just hand washing.
     
  6. chilliblue

    chilliblue Member

    Joined:
    29th Jul, 2010
    Messages:
    1,685
    Location:
    AUstralia
    Aren't people more worried about the insurance aspect or lack of coverage when it comes to these types of letting?
     
  7. jodes92

    jodes92 Member

    Joined:
    31st Jan, 2011
    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Thanks for everyone's valuable input, much appreciated !

    To clarify, I am not questioning whether it is allowed or not, or even planning to continue if / when it is officially "banned" - I am merely curious about what the repercussions would be if someone were to continue- it's your property (albeit strata title)- what could strata actually do to you?
     
  8. marg4000

    marg4000 Member

    Joined:
    27th Dec, 2006
    Messages:
    3,906
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Well, they could take legal action if you deliberately flout the by- laws. Should you lose, you could be up for their costs as well as your own.

    Put the boot on the other foot. How would YOU feel if other owners ignored by-laws that were important to you?

    Some people are just not suited to communal living.
    Marg
     
  9. jodes92

    jodes92 Member

    Joined:
    31st Jan, 2011
    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Absolutely- as stated previously, we have no plans whatsoever to ignore the by-laws when/if they come in. It was merely a point of interest.

    Some people are just not suited to communal living. <-- I hope this wasn't aimed at me given my constant clarifications !
     
  10. marg4000

    marg4000 Member

    Joined:
    27th Dec, 2006
    Messages:
    3,906
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I was simply replying to your initial post.
    Marg
     
  11. Ausprop

    Ausprop Member

    Joined:
    20th Jun, 2004
    Messages:
    10,497
    Media:
    7
    Location:
    PERTH, WA
    work on your stratgey, if the passive approach doesn't work, consider firing up and sprout off about oppression of minority interests and threaten to sue them all personally for damages. tell them they need legal advice first and it may buy you time
     
  12. sanj

    sanj Member

    Joined:
    16th Jul, 2010
    Messages:
    3,441
    Location:
    perth
    She was pretty clear in her original post that she wouldn't be going against strata wishes...

    It's an interesting question though, what can the strata do if there's an errant oowner in the complex who doesn't abide by the bylaws?
     
  13. keithj

    keithj Member

    Joined:
    29th Sep, 2002
    Messages:
    5,327
    Media:
    19
    Location:
    Blue Mountains
    Firstly, delist it from airbnb - remove evidence.
    As it's going to be your PPOR, it's probably best to start off on the right footing with your neighbors. So maybe have a chat with the head honcho of the committee prior to the meeting & explain the situation. That it's a short term solution to a difficult situation that is largely out of your control (reference the evil landlord of your existing place). And advertising has already been stopped & you plan on moving in in a month or so.

    They are probably all concerned that you will be doing it long term & have heard the horror stories in the media :rolleyes:.
     
  14. Ausprop

    Ausprop Member

    Joined:
    20th Jun, 2004
    Messages:
    10,497
    Media:
    7
    Location:
    PERTH, WA
    ah the voice of reason... that's how you got that nickname 'moderator'
     
  15. depreciator

    depreciator Member

    Joined:
    17th Dec, 2004
    Messages:
    4,462
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Regarding the Airbnb issue, it's usually the local council that pulls out the big stick first and sends some pretty threatening letters to hosts. The council get involved when rate payers complain. I have heard of building managers disabling access fobs and stopping guests from entering the building.
     
  16. Ed Barton

    Ed Barton Advance Australia fair

    Joined:
    3rd Jul, 2010
    Messages:
    2,560
    Location:
    Brisneyland
    There are many strategies that can be employed. I'm assuming it's a small complex and no one has the smarts to simply dob you into council and let them pay for any enforcement costs.

    1. Do nothing. Don't attend strata meetings. Don't answer letters. Give them no information to further their case. Or just give extremely vague responses.
    2. Cry and whale and beg forgiveness.
    3. Claim that the strata is being discriminatory as you're a black lesbian in a wheel chair.
    4. Bribe - legal, or otherwise. Give an inducement to the strata Nazi? Offer to pay for all/some of the strata costs - cleaning, gardening etc.
    5. Talk up how having an air'b'nb in the block will increase values. 'You should all do it' - we can all be rich.
    6. Attack other owners. 'Jamie in unit 2 is running a business'. 'Mary in unit 3 is running a brothel'. Rob in unit 4 is operating a book keeping business from home.
    7. Etc etc etc

    I'm not saying any of these options are legal/ethical/moral, just they're options to continue an AB&B business.
     
    Ausprop likes this.
  17. jodes92

    jodes92 Member

    Joined:
    31st Jan, 2011
    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Update: We've had the strata meeting and our Airbnb dream is over.
    We are quite happy with the outcomoe though, our final guests are able to stay until the end of their stay (end of this month) and we are moving in at the end of the month regardless, so it achieved it's purpose of covering the mortgage, while we finished our lease :)
     
  18. vtt

    vtt Member

    Joined:
    26th Feb, 2011
    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Sydney
    Jodes out of interest what was the concern of the OC? Were the guests noisy or disruptive or something that caused them to raise this as an issue?

    Good that they were reasonable about it and it worked out well for you. Always handy to stay on the good side of the neighbours especially if this will be your PPOR.

    vtt
     
  19. depreciator

    depreciator Member

    Joined:
    17th Dec, 2004
    Messages:
    4,462
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Good result, Jodes.
    There would be buildings all over Sydney currently revising their by-laws to prohibit short term rentals.
    Short stay guests don't always need to be noisy or disruptive. Sometimes residents just don't want somebody different staying in the flat across the hallway every weekend.
     
  20. jodes92

    jodes92 Member

    Joined:
    31st Jan, 2011
    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Good question VTT

    Apparently some of the owners view it as a "security risk" - in their defense it seems we had some pretty stupid guests- one knocked on someone's door asking where unit ten was, and another tried to get into someone else's apartment thinking it was number ten which apparently scared the owner. :eek: