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

Stanthorpe Border Post - - REAL ESTATE -

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.

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