A short-term rental facilitator website that has taken the world by storm could significantly impact the Australian rental market - and not in a positive way.
Titled Airbnb, it is described as a “marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world”.
Emma Shean from trust accounting app PropertyMe said on one hand it is a great way to find accommodation without the cost of booking expensive hotels. However, renters are jumping on board and effectively ‘sub-letting’ their homes to pay their rent and, in some cases, making a profit without informing their property manager or landlord.
“Not only is this breaking the lease terms in most cases, but [it] raises issues such as insurance validation if something happens to the property, apartment security breaches and the amount of wear and tear a property withstands,” she said.
"Whatever the trigger is to realising that your tenant is acting as a part-time property manager, you need to ensure action is taken.
"Contact your landlord to ensure they know what is occurring and how they would like to handle it,” she added.
Ms Shean said these situations are only going to increase in Australia, with the recent appointment of an Australian/New Zealand manager to help increase awareness of Airbnb in the region.
“So think about it as an opportunity to be aware - when taking on new tenants make it clear their contract stipulates no subletting, and keep an eye out for warning signs that your tenants are playiny part-time hotel tycoon,” she said.
If you’re a tenant, think twice before you pop your room up on the site and read your lease agreement thoroughly.
“The extra coin may not be worth potential out-of-pocket expenses if your insurance doesn’t cover damages made by an external person, or lease breaking issues with your property manager and landlord,” she added.