Damien Keyes.THE popularity of AirBnB continues to grow and the opportunity to make some extra cash is appealing to many, whether they are homeowners or renters. This leads to the question of can a tenant legally sublease part or all of their rented property on AirBnB? And, if so, under what circumstances can they do so? When big events, such as the Supercars, hit Townsville there is an influx of visitors here and many of them opt to spend some time either side of the event to hit the tourist spots, which is fantastic for our economy. Many locals are capitalising on the chance to earn perhaps five times the usual weekly rent, especially those living near the venue.But if they are renting the property, where do they stand legally? Can they sublease part or all of the property they are renting on AirBnB? When a tenant arranges to rent out part or all of a property they are renting this is called a sublease or subletting. The Act that governs rental accommodation in Queensland is the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008. If a tenant wants to sublet the property they are renting, they must seek written permission from the landlord, usually via the property manager. More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020The Act states that the lessor/agent must not unreasonably refuse permission to sublet or transfer the agreement from one person to another.What does this mean? Well, according to the Act it means the lessor must act reasonably in failing to agree to consent to sublet. They will be perceived as having acted unreasonably if they behave in a “capricious or retaliatory way” in failing to agree to the sublet. Like most things in life, it’s probably down to the tenant and the landlord having a good, mutually respectful relationship. If the tenant has proven trustworthy, reliable and to have taken good care of the property then the landlord may be more likely to grant this request. Landlords are likely to value good tenants who maintain the property and protect its value. In the REIQ’s view, a landlord is more likely to say “yes” to a sublease arrangement that is a longer-term arrangement and where the normal checks and balances are in place.With AirBnB, those checks and balances are not in place and this may, understandably, make some landlords nervous because they have no idea who is residing in their property.
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