Can a tenant sub-let a rental property on Airbnb?
A landlord is more likely to say yes to a sub-lease arrangement that is a longer-term arrangement, where normal checks and balances are in place
AIRBNB’S popularity continues to grow and the opportunity to make some extra cash is appealing to many, whether they are home owners or renters.
Which leads to the question – can a tenant legally sub-lease part or all of their rented property on Airbnb?
And if so, under what circumstances can they do it?
When a tenant arranges to rent out part or all of a property they are renting this is called a sub-lease or sub-letting. The legislation
The Act that governs rental accommodation in Queensland is the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.
If a tenant wants to sub-let the property they are renting, they must seek written permission from the landlord, usually via the property manager.
The Act states that the lessor/agent must not unreasonably refuse permission to sub-let or transfer the agreement from one person to another.
What does this mean?
Well, according to the Act it means the lessor must act reasonably in failing to agree to consent to sub-let, and will be taken to be act unreasonably if they behave in a “capricious or retaliatory way” in failing to agree to the sub-let.
Like most things in life, it’s probably down to the tenant and the landlord having a good, mutually respectful relationship.
If the tenant has proven trustworthy, reliable and to have taken good care of the property then the landlord may be more likely to grant this request.
Landlords are likely to value good tenants who maintain the property and protect its value.
It’s important to understand that this sub-lease does not remove the original tenant’s responsibility for the property.
So, for example, if Jane is renting a property from Bob and she’s going away for a fortnight, she may ask Bob if she can put it on Airbnb for the fortnight she’s away.
If Bob says yes, Jane is still responsible for the property, even while she is away, so if the property is damaged by the Airbnb visitors (the sub-tenants), subject to any other agreement Jane and Bob may have in respect of this arrangement, Bob will still likely have recourse against Jane under their lease agreement in respect of that damage.
If Bob says no, then Jane doesn’t have permission to sub-let the property.
If Jane believes Bob has acted unreasonably in failing to agree to a sub-let arrangement then Jane can apply to a tribunal to obtain a determination.
However, this is extremely rare.
In the REIQ’s view, a landlord is more likely to say yes to a sub-lease arrangement that is a longer-term arrangement and where the normal checks and balances are in place, such as the normal vetting of the potential sub-let tenant.
With Airbnb those checks and balances are not in place.
This may, understandably, make some landlords nervous because they have no idea who is residing in their property.