Short Stay Accommodation in Strata Property: Friend or foe?

Short-stay accommodation, facilitated primarily through platforms like Airbnb, has revolutionised the hospitality industry, providing travellers with diverse options and property owners with extra income. However, the rapid growth of this industry has raised concerns, particularly within strata properties in Victoria, Australia. While short-stay accommodation can offer benefits, its negative impacts on strata properties cannot be ignored.

One of the most significant concerns is the erosion of the sense of community within strata properties. In traditional long-term residential settings, neighbours often build relationships and a sense of belonging. However, the transient nature of short-stay accommodation can disrupt this dynamic. Frequent turnover of occupants makes it challenging to establish meaningful connections and fosters an atmosphere of indifference. The lack of accountability among short-term guests may lead to a decline in social cohesion and shared responsibility for the property’s upkeep and security.

Security is another pressing issue. Strata properties typically implement security measures based on the assumption that residents share a long-term commitment to the community. With the constant influx of strangers, security can become compromised. Unknown guests might inadvertently compromise access codes, leading to unauthorised entry and potential safety hazards. Additionally, a revolving door of occupants can make it difficult for residents to identify legitimate tenants from unauthorised visitors, raising concerns about theft and safety.

The use of residential units for short-stay accommodation can lead to increased wear and tear on the property. Transient occupants are less likely to treat the property with the same care and respect as long-term residents. The constant turnover of guests can result in higher maintenance costs as property management struggles to address damages and repairs caused by temporary occupants who may not have a vested interest in the property’s long-term well-being.

Noise disturbances are a common issue associated with short-stay accommodation in strata properties. Transient guests may not be aware of or invested in the community’s noise regulations, leading to disruptions that can strain neighbourly relationships. The lack of accountability makes it challenging to enforce noise restrictions, causing frustration among long-term residents who are seeking a peaceful living environment.

Moreover, the commercialisation of residential properties through short-stay accommodation platforms can exacerbate housing affordability issues. With property owners opting for lucrative short-term rentals over long-term leases, the availability of affordable rental housing can decrease, leaving potential long-term residents with limited options. This can have a cascading effect on the local housing market, driving up rental prices and creating a housing shortage for those in need.

Strata properties typically have rules and bylaws designed to maintain order and harmony within the community. However, the transient nature of short-stay accommodations can result in non-compliance with these rules. Guests might not be aware of, or willing to adhere to, the established guidelines, leading to conflicts between short-term occupants and permanent residents. This can strain the relationship between property owners and management, as well as create tension among residents.

In response to these negative impacts, the Victorian government and strata management bodies have started to introduce regulations to address the issues posed by short-stay accommodation. These regulations aim to strike a balance between property owners’ rights and the well-being of the strata community. They may include restrictions on the number of nights a property can be rented out, mandatory registration for short-stay hosts, and requirements for hosts to inform guests about property rules.

In conclusion, while short-stay accommodation has brought convenience and economic benefits to both travellers and property owners, its negative impacts on strata properties in Victoria are evident. These impacts encompass a weakened sense of community, compromised security, increased wear and tear, noise disturbances, housing affordability challenges, and violations of strata rules. Addressing these issues requires a multifaceted approach that combines government regulations, strata management policies, and community awareness to strike a balance between short-term rental opportunities and the stability of strata living.

Next week, we discuss the advantages of short-stay accommodation. Stay tuned!

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