Victoria's Supreme Court says putting the apartment you rent on Airbnb breaks your lease

Photo: Getty Images.

A couple who rented an apartment in Melbourne, then listed the entire property on the home-sharing website Airbnb, have breached their lease and will be evicted, Victoria’s Supreme Court has found.

The verdict ends a six-month battle by landlord Catherine Swan to remove the tenants, Barbara Uecker and Michael Greaves, from the two-bedroom art deco apartment in Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, after she found the property listed on Airbnb in January.

Swan initially took the case to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), which ruled the tenants were not sub-letting the property via Airbnb, instead granting users a “licence to occupy”.

Fairfax Media reports that the Court of Appeal found in Swan’s favour today, with Justice Clyde Croft concluding that offering the entire apartment was a lease.

“I am of the opinion that the particular Airbnb agreement in issue in this appeal, for occupation of the whole of the apartment, constitutes a lease,” Justice Croft said.

The judge said the case was not about Airbnb, but rather the lease arrangements between tenant and landlord.

Outside the court, Swan told Fairfax that she wants leases to contain a clause that bans house sharing.

“We can’t just be leasing out our properties and not knowing what’s going on in them,” she said.

The full Fairfax story is here.

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