I act for my uncle who owns a property. The unit is leased because he is in full-time residential care. Are the tenants allowed to use his unit for short-term letting? The owner does not want this to occur. Is it permissible for a tenant to ignore such a direction? – Tony, NSW

Tenants cannot let out the unit without the permission of the landlord or violate the terms of the lease that prohibits short-terms letting of the property.

The terms of subletting  and short-term letting need to be clearly spelled out in the lease. So tenants need the permission of their landlords to be able to rent out their apartment fully or in portions, for short term stays such as Airbnb and HomeAway.

State laws around short-term letting are still in flux, with new amendments happening all the time. Usually strata properties outline certain by-laws and rules to protect common properties and shared amenities. However, these may not always be adequate, unbiased or permanent enough to protect the interests of property owners. And since the owners corporation is not on the lease, they will not be in a position to intervene or enforce any rules.

In NSW, strata committees and owners corporations can oversee by-laws and send warnings in case the short-term letting activities of hosts and guests damage common areas or amenities. However, they cannot take hard legal actions against hosts and tenants since the law is yet to be spelled out state wide.

Here’s an article we’ve covered on the laws around short-term letting that could be of help.