Use of strata apartment by family and/or friends

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Forums Short term letting Use of strata apartment by family and/or friends

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  • #3226
    lazyboy
    Member

    I would think the following are not actual a “Short Term Letting” issue. However, with a autocratic/dictatorial Strata Committee who don’t like ‘strangers’ in the 15 apartment block, they would be keen to label the following as “Short Term Rentals” or “Holiday Rentals” and subsequently apply/formulate reasoning/by-laws to prohibit them.

    Questions :

    1) Any general comment on the above situation, which I suspect might be quite common ?

    What is the relevance of (possible) by-laws/legislation/local council regulations when it comes to the following :-

    Scenario 1
    -Resident Owner lives permanently in beachside residential only strata apartment, owner out of town for 2 weeks.
    2) Can adult children of owner stay in apartment for 2 weeks without violating any (possible) by-law/legislation/regulation ?
    3) As above , but friends of owner ?
    4) Does it matter if stay is paid , or unpaid ?

    Scenario 2
    -Furnished Apartment in beachside residential only strata apartment, Realestate Agent manages with formal Tenancy Agreements, leased for 3 months/6 months/longer, several weeks gap between leases
    5) Can adult children of owner stay in apartment for 2 weeks without violating any (possible) by-law/legislation/regulation ?
    6) As above , but friends of owner ?
    7) Does it matter if stay is paid , or unpaid ?

    thanks again.

    #3238
    Amanda Farmer
    Expert

    Hi lazyboy,

    The key here, as I think you have picked up, is whether money changes hands. In all of your examples, if no money changes hands, there can be no valid or legal restriction. You can have visitors in your own home. Once money changes hands, the situation becomes “commercial” and may be regulated.

    Amanda.

    #3255
    lazyboy
    Member

    Thanks again Amanda…who would have ever thought living in an apartment can be so complicated.

    Given the above questions (about family/friends staying in the apartment), it would seem to be a ‘grey’ area if money is involved, where different owners can apply their own opinion if the key term is ‘commercial’.

    For example,
    1) If over the peak summer, the apartment is let (ie. rental is charged) to family/friends for just 4 weeks in a year, then I wouldn’t have thought that that 4 weeks somehow triggers a situation to label it as ‘commercial’.

    2) Does the definition of ‘commercial’ differ if the apartment is :-
    – a permanent residence, and then let to family/friends ?
    – a rental property (with 3-6 months leases etc), and then let to family/friends between leases ?

    3) Rather than controlled by a by-law, is this controlled by the relevant council’s Local Environment Plan ?

    Surely one would want to avoid the situation where other owners say ‘Yes it’s commercial’ Owner says ‘No it’s not’…’Yes it is’… ‘No it’s not’…etc etc
    4.1) Shouldn’t a strata have a by-law which clearly states that the above, for example, is OK ? 4.2) How do stratas, in general, handle it now without a by-law ? (To leave such a matter to the whims of the Strata Committee would be a gross mistake)
    4.3) How specific might such a by-law be ? Example ?
    4.4) How broad might such a by-law be, whilst avoiding any ambiguity etc. Example ?

    thanks

    #3277
    Amanda Farmer
    Expert

    Hi lazyboy,

    Your question calls for a detailed answer specific to your situation, which is pushing us outside the arena of the Forum.

    For now I can offer the following views:

    – I don’t think I agree that the question of ‘commercial’ is grey: money either changes hands or it doesn’t;

    – Your example 1) – yes, I think this does trigger a ‘commercial’ situation;

    – Your example 2) – if the family and friends are paying for their use in between residential leases, then yes, the situation remains ‘commercial’. If they are not, then it is not.

    – Your question 3) – yes. That is my position in my written material on this topic, which I linked to in my earlier responses.

    To provide the further detailed advice you seek, I would need to put my ‘legal advice’ hat on. You can contact me and my team in this capacity on: enquiries@lawyerschambers.com.au

    Amanda.

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