In an article by Kirsten Robb for Domain ‘Airbnb: Victorian laws under pressure as landlord fails to evict ‘sublet’ tenants’ , leaseholders need to be mindful that using their rental property as an Airbnb could breach their rental agreement.
However landlord unsuccessful in this case, Catherine Swan a St Kilda property-owner could not evict tenants Barbara Uecker and Michael Greaves who listed their apartment’s two bedrooms on the Airbnb website. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal decided that the tenants had not technically sublet their apartment.
The landlord had to prove the Airbnb rental was a tenancy and broke the terms of the lease. Referring to Airbnb’s agreement Ms Campana found that “without an entitlement to exclusive possession, I am satisfied that the nature of the legal relationship between the tenants and Airbnb guests was not a tenancy”. The Tenants Union of Victoria supported this decision in court.
According to policy officer Yaelle Caspi tenants have the right to utilise the property as they would like as long as they uphold their responsibilities.
Currently the Victorian government is facing pressure to tighten legislation against Melbourne apartments being used inappropriately such as for cheap party venues. Presently the State government is using an independent panel to review these matters. However for Victorian tenants facing similar cases they can refer to this case in VCAT according to Slater and Gordon property lawyer Anthea Digiaris.