In what could prove to be a seminal decision, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has ruled that it’s fine for tenants to let a spare room to paying guests through accommodation portals such as Airbnb – even if their landlord doesn’t want them to.
The judgement was in response to an eviction application by the landlord Catherine Swain, who blew up after stumbling across the listing on Airbnb, where tenants Barbara Uecker and Michael Greaves were marketing a spare room without her permission for $160 a night.
“I find that the Airbnb guests did not have exclusive possession of the rented premises,” ruled Tribunal member Kylea Campana.
“Without an entitlement to exclusive possession, I am satisfied that the nature of the legal relationship between the tenants and Airbnb guests was not a tenancy.
“In my view, this was not a lease but a licence to occupy,”