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How to cope with the short-term rentals boom

If you’re a body corporate manager, a member of a strata committee, a developer, or involved with the running of a large block of apartments, you’re probably well aware of the ways in which companies such as Airbnb could affect your work. Indeed, the short-term rental market is booming and if a property in your building starts to see a high turnover of residents, this could have significant implications for your facility management operations.

A temporary resident may not be inclined to report defects, for example, or they may breach community guidelines surrounding issues such as parking or garbage disposal if they have not been provided with adequate information by the person letting out the property. So, how should you mitigate these problems as, for example, a facility manager or member of an owners corporation?

Encourage residents to inform you of their intentions to let out their properties

Given the popularity of websites such as Airbnb, it is a good idea to write up a list of short-term rental properties so building management staff members are aware of how many non-permanent residents may be in the building at any one time. It will also be useful to have a list of those responsible for letting out apartments in case emergencies arise and they need to be contacted.

Provide clear guidelines about guest expectations

Make sure that short-term guests are aware of building regulations and expectations. These could include:

– Check-in and check-out processes

– Key pick-up and drop-off points

– Car parking regulations

– Emergency contact numbers

– Noise limitations

– Whether pets are permitted

– Rules surrounding smoking

Remind those letting out properties that they are responsible for letting their guests know important information. It may also be useful to put clear signs up around the building, instructing guests about certain rules.

Clarify the role of building management staff

It is common for Airbnb guests to misinterpret the role of the building’s caretaker. They may not realise that facility managers are responsible for communal areas and for attending to certain needs of permanent residents. In this way, it may be useful to put up signs reminding short-term residents that they should contact their host if any issues arise, as building workers are not responsible for their stay.

Remind apartment owners of the risks associated with short-letting rentals

It may be worth reminding apartment owners of security risks associated with using sites such as Airbnb. It may be worth reminding them of the risks surrounding theft and identity theft that come with letting properties out to strangers. It may also be advisable to remind owners to divert their mail while renters are staying or to change the locks if they decide to move back in on a long-term basis.

Make the most of MYBOS

MYBOS is a custom app designed to help building managers streamline the facility management process. Configured to help you keep track of maintenance issues, property documents, and community issues, it makes the building management process much less of a headache. This is particularly true if any apartments have a high turnover of guests, allowing you to keep track of who may be in the building at any one time.

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