The death of a 19-year-old woman over the weekend is a very unfortunate event. The circumstances that led to this event raises the question of whether apartment buildings are equipped and ‘fit-for-purpose’ when it comes to Airbnb and short-stays.
State of Affairs
It’s been a common story across Melbourne of late: groups of youth rent short-stay accommodation to host a party, things get out of control and the result is property damage or assault.
This latest incident occurred at an apartment on the 56th floor of the EQ Tower in Melbourne’s CBD.
Oversight and Management
In an apartment building the oversight of common property is often left to an owners corporation management company, and a volunteer Committee elected to represent the owners corporation.
The owners corporation manager is largely responsible for budgeting, collecting levies, maintenance, convening meetings, and general administrative functions. It is a role that is off-site and secretarial in nature.
The volunteer Committee Members often have full-time jobs that warrant their attention and priority. It would also be decidedly unfair that Committee Members should have to respond to (and deal with the fallout) of such extreme events.
Most buildings will also employ a caretaker / cleaner however their roles and responsibilities (and working hours) are limited.
Larger buildings (with more owners to share costs) may also employ an on-site building manager, and security guards.
The question then becomes whether apartment buildings have 24-hour staffing coverage – and more importantly know-how – when it comes to things like wild youth parties.
Apartment Buildings vs Hotels
Celebrities from actors to rock icons have been hosting parties and trashing hotel rooms for decades. Is there a difference when the venue is a hotel?
When you check into a hotel you hand over your credit card to cover those costs that might extend beyond raiding the mini-fridge but more pertinently hotels are hotels.
Hotels are built intended to host guests 365 days of the year, they have 24-hour staff coverage, there’s built-up knowledge and experience when it comes to addressing issues, and hotels are not homes.
In recent years a number of buildings have gravitated to somewhat of a hybrid, in that they have a short-stay company managing a large number of short-stays in their building. The short-stay company might sometimes have a full-time on-site manager which could better address some of the issues.
The question here then becomes whether short-stays are more prone to breach the rules and regulations of the owners corporation (noise, disposal of rubbish, parking) and whether they cause more wear and tear to common property (higher volume traffic, damage caused by luggage).
The Balance of Rights
Most people buy into apartment buildings for convenience and location. The objection from owner-occupiers in apartment buildings has not been to investors getting a good return-on-investment but rather their right to the peaceful enjoyment of their home.
Has This Happened To You?
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about your short-stay issues.
Time to Change Strata Management Companies But Not Sure How to?
Strata Consultants Melbourne has been helping and guiding Committees on how to change owners corporation management companies since January 2014. We guide you through the process of changing body corporate management company and everything is done according to the body corporate rules and regulations. Speak to a Strata Consultant about changing owners corporation managers on 1300 917 848.