The prospect of six-figure earnings is being used to lure rent-investors into sub-letting multiple residential properties through holiday letting websites like Airbnb – without owning any of the homes or even, possibly, the knowledge of the property owners.
“How we make a six-figure income on Airbnb using other people’s properties… and how you can too!” announces a website featuring Nicole and Aaron Byerlee, the property power couple behind BnBProfessional, just one of several companies spruiking rent and sub-let seminars. Online videos show pumped-up participants giving rock-star receptions to the rent and sub-let promoters.
The potential profits are very real. Research into Airbnb’s online listings has uncovered several “hosts” each with hundreds of properties under their management, with even greater numbers listed on as many as 50 niche websites.
The NSW government is currently considering an “industry-led” register of holiday lets, and many see this as the best way to curb the commercial conversion of residential lets as short term rentals.
“Without a reliable, independent registry, there is no way property investors can be sure their homes aren’t being used for holiday lets,’ said Jane Hearn, Deputy Chair of the Owners Corporation Network, the peak group for apartment owners in NSW.