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Crime warning for short-stay rentals over Australia Day weekend

By Tim Neary
23 January 2019 | 9 minute read
australia globe map reb

Australia Day weekend is just around the corner and one strata company is warning of the emergence of a new, more sinister short-stay rental threat for landlords, tenants and neighbours to watch out for.

Archers the Strata Professionals said that thieves are deliberately targeting short-stay facilities through operators like Airbnb and Stayz.

“Of even more concern is a crime trend that has emerged around Australia, with thieves booking short-term accommodation during long weekends, major sporting events and concerts,” said partner Grant Mifsud.

“They take advantage of the situation to commit burglaries on unattended neighbouring units while holidaymakers are out having fun. Strata properties can be vulnerable to these crimes, particularly when there is no on-site security.”

Mr Mifsud said that the after-hours protocols are problematic.

“An increasing issue now in some strata buildings surrounds the after-hours collection of apartment keys and building entry fobs for short-term occupants.

“There have been many reports of security breaches caused by keys and fobs being left out for collection and not secured in lock boxes or similar allowing the wrong people gaining unlawful entry to properties.”

Mr Mifsud said that the fear of security breaches and thefts can add to the often-strained short-stay relations between neighbours and unit occupiers.

“Unfortunately, there will be parties where guests behave badly and excessive noise and other issues cause tensions between neighbours and complaints,” he said.

Accordingly, Mr Mifsud has these three tips to keep the peace:

1. Take extra care if you are planning a balcony barbecue in your unit.

“Food can easily catch fire or, worse, gas bottles can explode, potentially causing a major structural blaze. Unit owners and tenants also need to consider whether someone smoking on their balcony will bother neighbours.”

2. Loud music and other party noise has the potential to cause tensions.

“Property bylaws will require any noise able to be heard by the neighbours ending by a certain time, usually before 10pm,” he said.

“If you do adjourn inside to keep partying, don’t disturb neighbouring properties.”

3. If it’s hot, there could be the temptation for partygoers to strip off, whether celebrations are on a unit balcony or by a communal swimming pool in the apartment complex.

“Remember that there are more many families living in apartments these days and your guests should be appropriately attired,” Mr Mifsud said.

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