Failure to clarify Airbnb laws

Recent articles and Opinion in the Leader on residential flat buildings and lot owners utilising lots for the purposes of short-term lets, read Airbnb, have received a volatile response from owners against the use of residences by holiday makers.

To throw a spanner in the current climate the state government is now vacillating in making changes to the law to permit the use of residential flats for short term letting. 

Liberal politicians in areas containing a high level of residential flat buildings are more than a little concerned of the ramifications to their electoral chances of retaining their seats if any form of change will permit residential flats from being used for short term letting.

Conspicuous by its absence is the failure of the government to clarify the situation relating to short term, and, in fact, long term letting of flats.

As the law stands at the moment, there is a very strong likelihood of the owner of a flat being deprived of the ability not to use his/her flat for short term lettings.

The provisions of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 would seem to suggest the owners corporation would not succeed in preventing an owner or occupier from renting out his/her flat. 

Unfortunately, the courts in NSW have not had the opportunity to decide this question. 

On the other hand, in the UK, just such a question has been decided in favour of the lot owner.

Until the political elite attempt to address the question of short term lets, confusion will reign among owners and occupiers of residences, on either side of the fence.

In the article ‘‘Threat to homes’’ (Leader, May 16), residents of The Wilshire should obtain evidence of the problems associated with short term lettings, as suggested by the council, present the evidence to council and ask the council to commence Class 4 action in the Land and Environment Court.

Brian Phillips, Brian Phillips Legal