Subletting a Room on Airbnb in New Zealand

Subletting a Room on Airbnb in New Zealand
Airbnb Advice
August 27, 2019
Stefan Nikolic

There are a few situations in which subletting can be extremely convenient for tenants. Whether you are renting out a home with an unused room, going abroad for a few months or have a flatmate that is moving out, bring in a short-term guest can help you meet costs and even earn extra income. Airbnb offers the opportunity to easily find people looking to sublet for a short period of time. With the flexibility of the platform, it makes it very simple to fill accommodation quickly and safely. Along with this, you are able to host whenever you want to. This means you are not restricted to lengthy leases.

In New Zealand, most tenancy agreements will have clauses that dictate whether or not subletting is permitted by the landlord. Tenancy Services states that “A tenant is not allowed to sublet the house they’re renting if their tenancy agreement has a clause that forbids them from doing so. If the tenancy agreement doesn’t forbid them from subletting, the tenant must still have the landlord’s written consent to sublet the house, or part of it, to someone else.”

Hosting on Airbnb as a tenant yourself requires you to have express permission from your landlord. Without this, you can be subject to financial penalties if caught as you will be in breach of your tenancy agreement. You could also be evicted. It is always necessary to have your landlord on-board before making moves on Airbnb to ensure everything runs smoothly and in accordance with the law. 

Seeking Permission from Your Landlord

It’s common for people to think of their landlords as unreasonable and impersonal; however, this is often untrue. There’s a high chance that by approaching your landlord in a mature and well thought out way, you will end up with permission to host on Airbnb. By presenting your case in a light that shows you have a plan of attack and protocols in place to protect the home, it is much more likely that your landlord will agree to allow subletting. For the most part, they just want to ensure their investment is safe and that there will be no property damage at the end of the tenancy. Doing all you can to show how you will maintain this is the best approach. 

To attain permission, it is best to think about their side of the issue. What would their concerns be? How will you ensure nothing untoward occurs while you are hosting? Addressing these issues will allow you to present your idea carefully and increase the likelihood of their agreement. 

Some concerns to address may include:

  • Whether or not you are attaining your own insurance, on top of Airbnbs’ host guarantee and the landlord’s policy

In some cases, landlords may require more convincing before they allow you to sublet the property. In these instances, there are a few things one can do to help move things along. Most of the time, simply educating your landlord about how Airbnb is operated will work to put their mind at ease. In other cases, increasing your bond can also be helpful as it will give them more confidence that you are prepared to take responsibility should things go wrong. Generally, the main reason landlords may decline a tenants request is that they aren’t yet aware of the platform and have may have heard negative things about guests in the media. Assurance of responsibility and proper management will enable the best possible outcome. 

Here’s What Landlords Should Know About Airbnb Hosting

  • That it is possible to screen guests before agreeing to let them stay with you. All accounts come with reviews, which gives hosts a good idea about how the person will behave as a guest. 
  • That landlords can be set up as a co-host which will give them access to information about each guest, length of stay and income earned. 

Gaining permission to host on Airbnb from your landlord can be difficult, but it is necessary. In the long-run, an open and honest relationship with the property owner is crucial if you expect a successful hosting journey as a tenant. Doing all you can to facilitate a smooth experience for everyone will always work in your favour at the end of the day. 

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