Strata apartments are owned and inhabited by all sorts of people. On the whole, you’ll find people own their apartments and live in them. However, there are investors who buy a strata property and use it for short-term rentals, such as Airbnb. There are also people who rent from investor owners and those who use it mainly as short-term accommodation.
Naturally, this practice can cause a lot of frustration for Owners Corporations and permanent residents, but in many cases, it is perfectly legal. However, things are changing in favour of Owners Corporations, which we’ll get to shortly. First, let’s look at why leasing your strata apartment for short-term stays can be problematic.
Why short-term leasing of strata properties causes issues
In most cases, the biggest problem with short-term leases in strata buildings is the noise. If people are leasing your apartment for a weekend, they want to have a good time, and this usually means noise. Because they don’t need to live there permanently, visitors are less likely to care about any by-laws preventing noise, gatherings, balcony use and other rules.
The responsibility falls on the lot owner, and while systems like Airbnb allow penalties or fees to be charged for breaching apartment rules, this doesn’t do much to help the permanent residents who deal with an ever-changing group of neighbours with various levels of regard for by-laws.
Changes to NSW short-term leasing laws
Due to the frustrations often experienced by strata Owners Corporations, there have been important changes to the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW). Essentially, the law allows Owners Corporations to pass by-laws that prevent short-term leasing. This means Owners Corporations can table a vote to disallow any of its strata properties to be used as ‘short-term rental accommodation’.
This change also introduces the term ‘short-term rental accommodation’, classifying it as any temporary stay of up to 3 months. So, while this change affects strata owners who used their apartments for Airbnb, it also prevents longer stays, for example, corporate leasing.
One important distinction in this new law is that proposed by-laws can only be introduced to prevent short-term leasing in situations where the apartment is NOT a person’s primary residence. So, it really only impacts investors who use strata properties as short-term rentals. If you live in your strata apartment most of the time but choose to lease it out for a short time while you’re on holiday, this is still allowed.
Looking for expert strata management services?
Even if you’re not able to lease your strata apartment in the short term, we can always help with the management of your strata scheme. Many strata managers and committees simply don’t have the time to deal with everything that’s required to successfully run a strata operation. Fortunately, the team at More Than Strata specialises in handling all the aspects of your scheme that others don’t have time for. Best of all, we’re completely independent and represent everyone equally. For more information about how we can help, contact More Than Strata today.