realestatebusiness logo
Home of the REB Top 100 Agents

Short-term letting: Not for the faint of heart

14 September 2017 | 10 minute read
frozen time 1

A niche agency has highlighted how various short-term letting services such as Airbnb and MadeComfy can allow for increased profitability, but in doing so, owners have to be prepared to put in some hard work.

According to Di Jones, head of investment management Bridgette Barker, not every owner is suitable to short-term let their property, citing a strong need to be involved in the management of the property.

“While people are taking up the opportunity, less than 1 per cent of our rental roll has decided to put their homes onto the short-term market in the past 12 months,” Ms Barker said.

“Both of those apartments were located at Bondi Beach where huge money can be made in spring and summer. One owner was renting for $800 per week, but through a short-term rental site, he was getting three times as much.

“We also have some owners who are going to [do] short-term rental of their property for six months while they head overseas and will then return it back to Di Jones to manage.”

The low percentage embracing short-term letting has been exacerbated by issues arising from the short-term letting market.

“Major damage and noise which has upset neighbours has been a cause of concern for some owners utilising short-term rentals,” Ms Barker said.

“They do have a place in real estate, but it is not for everyone. If you do decide to use Airbnb…, I believe you have to be heavily involved in the management of the property. And if you live nearby, you have more control over the management.


“Owners should also be mindful of their insurance obligations and the legislation that relates to the type of accommodation they are entering into if they can’t get someone out.”

Ms Barker added that the recent strata law changes give more of an advantage for apartment owners to embrace short-term letting.

“Owners are revising their by-laws, which in many cases currently restrict rental leases to a minimum of three months.

“There’s now a good opportunity for executive committees to change their by-laws to reflect the popularity of these sites. While many apartment owners may not be using the services at the moment, amending by-laws to allow short-term rentals means that they can set the tone for their apartment block in the future.

“Airbnb [is] not going away. Guidelines are now in place to protect both parties, and it is important that owners, particularly of strata accommodation, are across their rights and responsibilities.”

Do you have an industry update?