Much like Uber before it, the legal technicalities of sharing your place via Airbnb are starting to make themselves apparent in Australia. Recently, a landlord won the right to kick out tenants for putting their rented Melbourne property up on the crowd-lodging site.
Originally the verdict went the way of the tenants, when it was put in front of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. However, as the ABC’s Emma Younger reports, the landlord took the decision to the state’s Supreme Court, which swung its gavel the opposite way.
In the first ruling, it was determined the tenants were not sub-letting the apartment — prohibited by the lease agreement — and instead were “granting guests a licence to occupy”.
But that’s not how the Supreme Court saw it:
…Justice Clyde Croft overturned the VCAT ruling, finding the apartment was in fact being sub-let, in contravention of a clause in the rental agreement … “Many commercial leases restrict the tenant from sub-leasing … granting any licence to occupy all or part of the leased premises … without the landlord’s consent,” he told the court.
The end result being the eviction of the tenants. Ouch.
So if you’re in a similar situation, sharing your rented property out on Airbnb, it might be wise to double-check your lease, lest you be caught on the wrong side of the law. It certainly won’t help your cause now that a precedent has been set.