Real estate industry: Airbnb idea has been “tried before and failed”

Jodie Humphries 14 March 2017 NEWS

AirBnBThe real estate industry has claimed it isn’t concerned about Airbnb’s plans to enter the long-term rental market.

Airbnb has been expanding its presence in the Australian market as of late and some property owners, body corporates and agents have been vocal about their dislike of the platform. Now, the accommodation platform is now looking to expand into the long term rental market, according to news.com.au, but real estate industry leaders say they aren't too concerned.

John Cunningham, president of the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales, told news.com.au that the idea had been tried before and failed.

“Whenever anyone’s tried to manage properties from a central hub it has failed dismally. The reality is you need to be on the ground in the location and do what needs to be done.”

Cunningham also pointed out that Airbnb lacked the tenant screening offered by agents.

“This is one of the problems Airbnb is facing now. There’s no vetting of tenants. People can create a great profile, but they don’t do reference checks like we do on a tenant. There’s a great example where Airbnb's process can’t compete,” Cunningham explained to news.com.au.

Australia’s strict tenancy laws may also be a hurdle for Airbnb, as the company has tended to stay away from areas that have too much regulation. Real Estate Institute of Queensland chief executive officer Antonia Mercorella told news.com.au that the onus would be on the owners or landlords to make sure any rentals were sticking to the law.

“The person renting out the property (the landlord) would still need to understand all of the legal issues surrounding the renting of accommodation. Whether the property is rented via Airbnb or a private ad on another portal or the newspaper doesn’t make much difference.”

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