Short Stay Rentals: Owners Corporation Authority and Lot Owner Rights

The surge in short-term rentals through platforms like Airbnb has prompted many strata communities to reassess their policies, leading to discussions on whether an Owners Corporation in Victoria, Australia, can prevent a lot owner from renting out an apartment on Airbnb. Striking a balance between the rights of individual lot owners and the collective interests of the Owners Corporation poses unique challenges in this dynamic landscape.

Strata Legislation in Victoria:

In Victoria, strata properties are governed by the Owners Corporations Act 2006. The Act empowers Owners Corporations to manage and make decisions regarding common property and the overall welfare of the strata community. However, it is crucial to note that the Act does not explicitly address the issue of short-term rentals or leasing on platforms like Airbnb.

Bylaws and Rule-Making Powers:

The Owners Corporation in Victoria holds significant power to create bylaws that regulate various aspects of strata living, including the use of individual lots. While the Act does not specifically address short-term rentals, Owners Corporations can leverage their rule-making powers to create bylaws that govern the renting out of apartments on platforms like Airbnb.

Bylaws relating to short-term rentals can establish guidelines, restrictions, and approval processes to ensure that such rentals do not negatively impact the community’s safety, security, or amenity.

Enforcement of Bylaws:

Owners Corporations have the authority to enforce bylaws through penalties, fines, or even legal action if a lot owner is found in violation. However, any bylaw prohibiting short-term rentals must be reasonable, valid, and within the scope of the Owners Corporation’s rule-making powers to withstand legal scrutiny.

Challenges and Legal Considerations:

While Owners Corporations in Victoria have the power to regulate short-term rentals through bylaws, enforcing such restrictions can be challenging. Legal considerations, including potential conflicts with individual property rights and the absence of specific legislative guidance on short-term rentals, can complicate the enforcement process.

Individual Lot Owner Rights:

It is essential to acknowledge the rights of individual lot owners in the context of short-term rentals. Lot owners generally have the right to use and enjoy their property, and any bylaws created by the Owners Corporation must respect these rights. Striking a fair balance between the interests of individual lot owners and the community at large is crucial to fostering a harmonious living environment.


In Victoria, Australia, the question of whether an Owners Corporation can prevent a lot owner from renting out an apartment on Airbnb revolves around the interplay of strata legislation, bylaws, and individual property rights. While Owners Corporations have the authority to create bylaws regulating short-term rentals, it is imperative that such bylaws are reasonable, valid, and within the scope of their rule-making powers. Achieving a balance that respects the rights of individual lot owners while preserving the collective interests of the strata community remains a continuous challenge in the ever-evolving landscape of short-term rentals.

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