This is the latest update to our post “Can tenants list properties on Airbnb”.

To date, the law has been unclear as to whether landlords can evict tenants who put their rental properties on Airbnb without a landlord’s consent.  This matter has now received some clarity thanks to a recent VCAT decision.

A landlord attempted to evict a couple who had put their St Kilda rental property on Airbnb without her permission. The landlord argued that by letting the property on Airbnb, the couple had effectively created a sublease. As with most residential leases, the lease in question provided that the couple could not sublease without her permission.  As permission had not been granted, she argued they were in breach of the lease.  The tribunal dismissed the landlord’s claim finding that an Airbnb listing did not amount to a sub-lease.  The member made such a finding on the basis that Airbnb guests do not have exclusive possession of a premises and based also on the wording of Airbnb’s website which states that guests are given a “licence” only to occupy a premises.

This will however not be the last we hear of this matter, as the State government continues to face pressure to legislate against apartment buildings being used as “cheap party hotels”. An independent panel is currently reviewing the issue.

In the meantime, tenants can rely on this decision to ward off landlords threatening to evict of the basis of unapproved subleases.