Insights from David Faulkner with Real-iQ

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Are Airbnb hosts in breach of the Residential Tenancies Act?

  • Over 300 properties available to rent for longer than a month in New Zealand on Airbnb

  • Will Airbnb enter the long term rental market as short term stays diminishes?

Landlords could be using short term booking sites such as Airbnb in an attempt to contract out of the Residential Tenancies Act, however, by doing so they are exposing themselves to substantial risk and possible rent refunds. We became aware of the situation on a recent consultancy visit to Christchurch. A Business Development Manager highlighted that she noticed properties she had recently appraised for owners relisted on Airbnb.  Prior to the lockdown, these properties were used solely for short-term stays but instead of being used for one or two nights, they are being occupied for long term stays.

She explained that she had dealt with a steady flow of enquires from Airbnb hosts as bookings for short term stays had predictably reduced following the COVID-19 pandemic. No surprises there. However, what became a sticking point to switching to the long-term rental market for many of these hosts was the work that they would have to undertake on their properties to comply with Healthy Homes standards. These standards become compulsory for new or varied tenancies from the 1st of July 2021. On following up with hosts after appraising the properties, she discovered that they were back on Airbnb but being used for longer-term stays.

By doing this, they are potentially contracting out of the Residential Tenancies Act and exposing themselves to significant exemplary damages and even refunds in rent.

Click here to read the full article.


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