More Management Rights The Simple Answer To Airbnb

30 January 17

Sydney Morning Herald columnist Jimmy Thompson wrote an interesting article in his Flat Chat column recently headed “Guerrilla warfare warning over holiday lets in apartments”. The article noted that the NSW Government is considering a proposal that would make holiday letting exempt from zoning restrictions.

 

Under current strata laws, an Owners Corporation can only legally ban short stay letting if its building is zoned residential. Under the proposal before Government, apartments (as well as stand-alone houses) in residential zones will be exempted.


Jimmy noted that “hundreds of apartment blocks” are already blocking holiday letting through dodgy by laws and other tactics such as cancelling electronic access keys to doors and lifts (for “security reasons”) and locking guests out of swimming pools, gyms and car parks. He even quoted one long-term chairwoman as saying that putting super-glue into locks “works faster and more effectively than any laws or by laws!”.


As this battle rages on, members of Strata Committees are wasting considerable time and money sitting in lawyers’ offices or NCAT trying to find a legal means of stopping short-term lettings in their residential buildings. As Jimmy states, strata committees (who are untrained volunteers) are endeavouring to police the practice by taking photos, noting dates, keeping financial records, issuing warnings and litigating. This is unreasonable and the sense of community associated with living in strata is being destroyed.


Management Rights – A Ready Made Solution!


Online companies such as Airbnb and Stayz are game changers and are causing all sorts of concern in the world of strata. A simple solution to the problem is to make sure these large residential buildings have strong onsite management.


Onsite building managers are not only responsible for performing or supervising the day-to-day maintenance of the building, they are also usually granted exclusivity to be the only party capable of operating an onsite letting business. However, the conduct of this business is regulated by the by laws and the Letting Agreement between the Owners Corporation and the onsite manager. In other words, the manager is directly answerable to the Owners Corporation for its actions. By contrast, the Owners Corporation has next to no control over owners and tenants operating under the Airbnb or Stayz model.


An onsite building manager knows exactly what is going on in the building. They know what units are being short-term let via Airbnb or Stayz. They can report these issues to the committee and be the interface between the tenants and the Owners Corporation. It should not be left to neighbours to have to spy on neighbours.


Developers Need to Step Up


Developers need to start seriously thinking about life in their buildings after they are gone. Instead of settling their sales and hoping that the strata legislation will look after the ongoing management of the buildings, developers need to be spending more time thinking about long-term governance and harmony issues in their buildings. The developer is THE person who sets the tone of the building as they determine the by-laws and how the building is managed once the developer has washed their hands of the development. They need to set up structures that make the life of owners easier and the incorporation of fair, long-term caretaking and letting agreements, supplemented by appropriate by-laws, is a good start.


Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation
Disclaimer – This article is provided for information purposes only and should not be regarded as legal advice.

Share

Contact Us Now

Phone:+ 61 7 5552 6666
Fax:+ 61 7 5528 0955
Email:info@smh.net.au
Address:Level 2, 17 Welch St Southport, Qld, 4215
Postal:PO Box 1876
Southport 4215

Search

Search*
Search

Most Popular Articles

Management Rights News

Number of news items returned: 1 to 15 records of 69

Unit Entitlement in NSW

11 February 2013

(6017 views)

The issue of unit entitlement was recently looked at again as part of the Department of Fair Trading’s Discussion Paper ...

The Different Types of Caretaking Agreements

17 November 2014

(5594 views)

 Essentially, there are three types of caretaking agreements in the marketplace: “Do” agreements; “Supervisory” agreements; Hybrid “Do” and “Supervisory” agreements. “Do” Agreements A “Do” agreement ...

What Managers Need to know about the NSW Child Window Safety Devices Act 2013

17 January 2014

(5140 views)

Resident building managers have general obligations under their Caretaking Agreements to assist Owners Corporations with building and compliance issues. Managers ...

Is it Time to Change the Management Rights Model?

13 May 2013

(4815 views)

I think the time is right for the management rights industry to explore the creation of a new model. I ...

Be Careful with your Proxies!

03 October 2013

(3752 views)

In June this year, I wrote an article headed “Proxy Farming”, which set out the relevant restrictions on caretakers using ...

The Law Relating to Management Rights in Queensland

14 June 2010

(3737 views)

This article looks at the legislation in Queensland dealing with the constraints and obligations imposed on developers whilst they control ...

Duty Bound or Duty Free - Do you know what Your Duties Are?

23 September 2013

(3374 views)

The day-to-day care and maintenance of your resort facilities and communal areas is essential to its ongoing performance and success. ...

Owners Corporation Insurance - How do we Stop the Spiraling Costs?

12 August 2013

(3283 views)

In NSW, all strata schemes are required to be insured for the full replacement value, as well as public liability ...

Proxy Farming

10 June 2013

(3081 views)

It is often stated that Strata and Community Schemes represent the “fourth tier of Government” and, as such, voting (either ...

"Legal Action", All those in Favour say "Why"

15 July 2013

(2945 views)

I was recently involved in a New South Wales matter where an Executive Committee had received extensive legal advice from ...

Caretaking and Letting Agreement Essentials Part 1

03 September 2014

(2835 views)

We regularly prepare caretaking and letting agreements for new developments. However, it has become increasingly common for us to be ...

CARETAKING AND LETTING AGREEMENT ESSENTIALS PART 5: DISPUTE RESOLUTION AND TERMINATION

16 July 2015

(2816 views)

This month, we continue our examination of various clauses within caretaking and letting agreements and the important considerations to be ...

For Your Eyes Only!

15 April 2013

(2787 views)

Information is a commodity and for many, information is power. As you would most likely know from personal experience, the right ...

Manged Investment Schemes

15 July 2008

(2739 views)

You may have heard the terms ‘MIA’ or ‘Managed Investments Scheme’ and wondered what it’s all about. If you operate ...

Being Aware of your Rights and Responsibilities

14 January 2013

(2735 views)

Every resident building manager in NSW should have a copy of the booklet issued by the Department of Fair Trading ...