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Landlord claws back Airbnb profits and more

By Pierce Bedogni - 25 May 2018

Recently, the Tenancy Tribunal ruled that landlords can claim for the profits that a tenant makes in illegally subleasing their rental premises, especially for the purposes of an Airbnb rental. In this case, the landlord discovered that his apartment had been rented out 46 times over a six month period on Airbnb for approximately $249 per night.

This was in breach of the tenancy agreement which prohibited subleasing without the consent of the landlord. This term was consistent with the landlord's rights under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.

Once the landlord discovered the breach, he informed his tenant to cease renting the apartment on Airbnb. The tenant decided to stop paying rent, abandon the premises and prevent access by fitting a deadbolt.

In awarding the landlord its outstanding rental arrears, the landlord was also awarded $2,150, being the net profit the tenant made for the renting of the apartment on Airbnb. This was made as an equitable claim for "account for profits" as the tenant was not entitled to that profit.

As more properties are leased under Airbnb, it is likely that this case will be used as a precedent for landlords to claim illegitimate profits made by tenants.

However, it does raise issues over tenant privacy and taxation issues, which require further discussion and resolution.

For further questions in relation to this article, contact Tony Johnson or Pierce Bedogni.

Tenancy Tribunal Order: Nice Place Property Management Limited v Jeff Walter Paterson


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