Sectional title trustees may rule against Airbnb
The ombud for community housing schemes has resolved – for now – uncertainty about whether it is permissible to let sectional title units via Airbnb in terms of the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act.
“There is no doubt that Airbnb letting does pose a potential security risk, especially where many owners in a complex are not living there themselves, but letting out their units and giving keys, remotes and security codes to one set of visitors after another,” says national management company Trafalgar MD Andrew Schaefer.
He says insurance companies are also beginning to express misgivings about Airbnb letting, especially in complexes where this is widespread. Airbnb letting is regarded by Sasria as a commercial activity similar to running a B&B or a hotel, which means they would have to apply a commercial rate of insurance to any scheme where there was even one Airbnb unit. “Consequently, Trafalgar decided to seek guidance from the ombud, and the answer is that sectional title schemes may indeed make a rule that no short-term letting (of less than a month, for example) is allowed.
However, the trustees will need to ensure that the rule is properly approved by owners in the scheme and registered with the ombud. “In addition, the ombud says the rule should provide for trustees not to be unreasonable in its application.”