• Written by Helen Hull

The rise of short-term letting and accommodation services like Airbnb and Stayz sees many property owners looking at ways they can earn extra income from their principal residence.

Di Jones Head of Investment Management Bridgette Barker said with increases in the cost of living any owner of a property can tap into these services to help with rising expenses. “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 short-term rental of their property for six months while they head overseas and will then return it back to Di Jones to manage.”

Ms Barker noted that there has been an increase demand in the past 12 months from people who have been burnt by the short-term rental 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 or Stayz, 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,” she said.

Ms Barker added that the recent changes to strata laws have opened an opportunity for those living in apartments to tap into short-term rentals. 

“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 and Stayz are 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,” Ms Barker said.


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