Emil Ford Lawyers

Airbnb in your unit block?

What happens if Airbnb lands in your unit block? Ms. Estens owned a unit in Woollahra. She would sometimes make her property available for rent through Airbnb when she went interstate or overseas. Ms. Estens was careful and selective when it came to choosing the person to whom she let her property, and she also put restrictions on the letting to ensure that the peace, comfort and privacy of her neighbours was protected. However, her neighbours were not favourably inclined to this practice.

One neighbour complained that the presence of strangers using the washing machine and sitting on the deck caused disruption to their peace and enjoyment. Another neighbour complained that the continual movement of luggage in and out of the apartment would cause higher rates of wear and tear on the common areas. The remaining neighbours came together at a meeting of the Owners Corporation and approved a by-law that prevents unit owners generally from using Airbnb to lease their units.

Ms. Estens then went to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal and requested that the Tribunal rule on the by-law that the Owners Corporation approved. The Tribunal ruled that the by-law was invalid and that Ms. Estens, along with any other owner, cannot be prohibited from reasonably dealing with their own property, whether on Airbnb or another rental agency.

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