Owners Corporations reforms make Airbnb apartment owners liable.
Do you rent your apartment out on Airbnb or any other short stay website? If so, you could now face fines if your guests have a party.
In the battle to control the wave of wild parties being held at short-stay apartments across the state, the Government have just introduced changes to the Owners Corporation Act 2006 with the hope to stop apartments being treated as party venues disturbing other residents and destroying the common areas.
The reforms which came into effect on 1st February 2019, arm Owners Corporations with the ability to take action directly against property owners and guests for any damage caused to common areas of the building and for any disturbances to neighbours.
These reforms specifically target short stay apartments being listed on websites like Stayz.com.au and Airbnb.com, where bookings are generally under 7 days, so regular tenancies will not be affected by the changes.
Owners Corporations will now be able to take the owners of the short-stay apartments and the guests to VCAT and seek the following:
- Fines up to $1100 for breaches of the Act
- Award compensation of up to $2000 to affected residents for loss of amenity
- Stop apartments that have been used for unruly parties from being rented out for short stay accommodation for a period of time
To issue a Breach Notice, the behaviour of short stay guests must fall into at least one of the following categories:
- Unreasonable or excessive noise
- Interference with other residents enjoyment or their private lots or common areas
- Cause health and safety hazards to other residents or public
- Damage to common property
- Obstruction to common property
If an apartment is served with three Breach Notices within a two year period, VCAT will have the power to restrict that apartment from being used as short stay accommodation for a period of time.