What can I do about my Neighbour's Air BnB property ?

Hi everyone,

I live in a small block of beachfront residential units on the Gold Coast in Qld. Recently, a neighbour has decided to rent his unit out through Air BnB. He does not live there anymore. Suddenly, we are having frequent issues with extra noise, parties, unruly behaviour, unknown people wandering around day and night and people knocking on neighbours doors asking "how to check in".

I have complained to the Body Corp and owners about these issues who claim there isn't much that can be done. The owners do not seem to care and do nothing to address the concerns of permanent residents.

Does anyone have any advice or suggestions on how to combat this ? Do I lodge a complaint with Council, Police, ATO, Air BnB ?

Thanks for any assistance.


Thank-you everyone for your insightful comments and helpful suggestions ;) They have all been taken onboard.

I will just wait now until I hear back from the GCCC and I will be sure to let you know the outcome of that investigation.

It may very well be the case that they can't take action or shut it down immediately, and I am ok with that.

But what I do know is, the laws will only change when long suffering neighbours stand up to absent investors turning residential buildings into quasi motels and report them to the relevant authority.

If we do nothing, nothing will change.

All the best.

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  • +31

    Police when occupants are unruly and council. I'm surprised Body Corp haven't got him to get his act together. But besides that nothing much you can do.

  • +36

    The body Corp could make a rule that there's no AirBnB in their units but if the owners don't care then that's not going to happen. I think the best thing you can do is move and make your unit into AirBnB too.

    • +25

      Owners Corp bylaws banning short term rentals have been successfully challenged in VIC and NSW. They are useless.

      • -2

        Here's hoping council bylaws in QLD are challenged too.

        I don't do short term letting but it's sneaky to restrict owners in this way just because there's a stigma around transient neighbours or state imposed residential growth targets that only full time occupants can meet.
        if someone doesn't like the house next door being rented out, they can offer above market and likely buy it. else; only complain if there's something illegal / criminal.

        • It isn't a "stigma" around transient neighbours. It is the way Airbnb make it easy for people who want to have a noisy party rent a unit for a short term stay thereby not disturbing their own neighbourhood, depending on your location this can be a huge problem. It is quite a reasonable requirement to block those short term rentals.

          • @gromit: I kind of see your point.

            I don't use the pool every day but if I rented my house via airbnb I'm sure it would get daily use from families with loud kids etc.
            That means more noise for the neighbourhood, but when it's in no way against the law, that's just something you have to accept. Better than a long term problem neighbour IMO because they leave.

            • +1

              @ndftz: Actually loud parties and noise can most definitely be against the law. Personally doesn't affect me but I know at one point this was a problem for some units in a block my parents had a rental in. Eventually after enough police attendances the bylaws for the building were changed to block Airbnb (indirectly).

          • +4


            It is quite a reasonable requirement to block those short term rentals.

            Don't get me wrong, I do understand that some proportion of airbnb in holiday destinations/inner city are going to be for "parties" and will disturb people.

            Worst case scenario for these airbnb owners is disgruntled neighbours and possibly a fine. They know this.

            However, the problem is unless there is major legislative reform, they can't really do anything about it. People have a right to enjoy their property and use it as they wish provided it complies with law. No different than if the airbnb owner themselves was hosting the parties.

            Introducing laws permitting police/whoever to restrict who an owner can invite onto their property is a dangerous slippery slope. I can't see it ever happening.

            • @zeggie: Exactly this

            • @zeggie: noisy parties on a regular basis ARE against the laws in most places regardless of whether you are a renter or owner.

              • +1

                @gromit: @gromit nobody disagrees with that. Illegal disturbances are illegal and repeat offending likely has extra peanalties.

                I think what @zeggie was saying is that there is no distinction between owner groups or that of Airbnb Tennant's when it comes to these laws. And in a way that's a good thing! The kinds of countries that have legal frameworks to restrict gatherings to specific people or a category of people are not exactly democratic success stories.

                Having said that, bylaws set by the building or terms set by the Airbnb host to only allow registered guests are completely reasonable.

                • @ndftz: I hope it makes sense… the distinction between laws enforceable by state and federal police and bylaw rules set by a owner/body/council which are effectively a glorified 'terms of service'

                • +2

                  @ndftz: I don't disagree, just that this is really completely off kilter with what the OP is describing and Airbnb (especially in places like the gold coast) is heavily used for parties, wild vacations etc. Bylaws are an excellent LEGAL means to curtail the behaviour, with restrictions on parking and facility, security etc that makes it very difficult to utilise for very short stays as a gold coast apartment with no pool, no spa, no sauna, no parking, awkward security arrangement makes it far less valuable venue (exactly what happened with my parents complex on the gold coast, solved the problem with no expensive battles).

                  • @gromit: Good points

                    And to OP's point it helps getting aligned with a majority of neighbouring owners. Particularly if restrictions of service can enhance owner-value or protect their assets from damage while making short term stays less desirable.

                    I've heard some dooseys, like car registration restricted parking bays with infringement clamp profit sharing (incentive for most owners to approve as it fills the body corp kitty)

                    Guess it just gets contentious when more than half of them are leveraging short terms stays to yield money for their property and don't see that value of an owner/occupier or feel higher cost of upkeep on shared resources.

                    I live in Noosa where there is a constant beatup about 'evil airbnb party houses' but have yet to ever hear one past 7pm. The neighbours are mostly Airbnb houses and of the few long term locals on the street are
                    5 young people who share live what would be a perfect party house (that rarely seems used to entertain).
                    They all are entitled to make noise much more frequently than they do. I'm grateful with a young family but I keep thinking that even if my street were loud, it's not legally my problem until late at night.
                    I can't afford to buy all the houses in the street to control how the are used so far from me to complain.

                    Some of the subtle disincentives in this thread are pure evil-genius however 😂

                  • @gromit:

                    Bylaws are an excellent LEGAL means to curtail the behaviour,

                    They really aren't and I've provided examples of the OC losing when taken to NCAT.

                    QLD hasn't even formulated states based legislation on "short term rentals" so I doubt OC's would have any success in QLD.

                    • @zeggie: no you provided an example of a very poorly thought out and implemented bylaws. If done correctly with good justifications they are perfectly enforceable. note a good justification is not "we want to block short term rentals", plenty of restrictions that make short term rentals difficult have plenty of valid reasons, especially when it comes to security.

                      • -1

                        @gromit: Ok. Let's run with that. Let's say a QLD OC implements well thought out bylaws. An owner subsequently disregards them. What remedies does the OC have in QLD?

                        • @zeggie: why would you make bylaws/rules they can disregard? tell me how they disregard bylaws that require vehicles to be registered to access the secure parking or use a biometric? how do they bypass security restrictions that prevent anyone but the registered owners or renters collecting keys for access to amenities, especially if those keys are digital and rotate on a regular basis for added security, mind you the owner is still perfectly free to come and register those details for a Airbnb person staying a night? The idea is not to create rules that ask the owner to please obey, it is to create reasonable rules that are enforced that they can't disobey but conveniently also make it damn awkward for Airbnb type scenario. The simplest is through security systems with keys that can't be duplicated, biometric access, rotating keys etc.

                          • -2

                            @gromit: Easy. You're talking about high rise apartments, right? Owner doesn't offer or advertise the extra amenities to Airbnb guests or apartment. Most of them don't as most inner city high rise apartments Airbnb renters want the location and the apartment, not the buildings pool. You can't deny them or their guests access to the apartment.

                            The majority of Airbnb are regular houses, townhouses, units in small to medium population sites. Unfeasible to implement what you've suggested.

                            So noting all the above, what remedies does the OC have?

                            • @zeggie: No I was not talking about high rise apartments. I was talking about small to medium size unit blocks and you have no clue, not only is it simply and feasible to implement it is quite affordable and has both insurance and security benefits. My parents have both high rise apartment and a unit in a small 10 unit block on the gold coast. Both have gone the route of increased security to facilities. You seem to have an obvious vested interest as you don't want people to even try the basics to stop the BS. Can you prevent everything, of course not, nor would I ever suggest you can. But you CAN do a lot and you are wrong, the facilities do make a big difference to price.

                              • -2

                                @gromit: The basics? Where did I say that? Nice Straw Man.

                                I also like how you've failed to answer my simple question. What is the remedy available?

                                If you think the OC can stop an owner having more than 1 security key to access their own apartment then you're kidding yourself.

                                You're also very wrong to think I have a vested interest when it's clear you haven't read the rest of my posts. I've said I agree with OP and their position. I've simply stated the current situation in QLD, the realities of that situation and the lack of power the GCCC actually have.

                                You can have a differing opinion. Frankly I don't care. Your opinion means very little when there is no state legislation. Feel free to prove otherwise.

                                • @zeggie: I would be very interested in knowing what you would do in this situation zeggie, or if was your mother living beside a different set of drunken louts every second night.

                                  Honestly, Would you just advise her to just sell up and move out? Sorry Mum. Nothing at all can be done.

                                  Your advice during this entire thread has been doom and gloom - You will never win.

                                  Don't take this the wrong way, because in all seriousness, I would be interested to know what tricky tactics your considerable legal knowledge could come up with - if aimed against the Air Bnb host instead of constantly in favour of it.

                                  • -1

                                    @firebucket: Funny, I gave a personal situation elsewhere in this thread. Didn't read it did you?

                                    I also told OP what to do. Didn't read that either?

                                    I'll repeat for the third time to you, there's no state legislation. Take it up with the relevant authority why they've dragged their heels for so long. The doom and gloom is their non action. Don't blame me.

                                    Play the game not the man.

  • +1

    Thanks. Half of the Body Corp Owners are against it and the other half don't care (6 owners in total). They claim that the Body Corp has no real powers to prevent short term holiday rentals being in the building.

    • -3

      I am pretty sure they could stop holiday rentals, that's exactly what's happened to many apartment blocks in Sydney.

        • +1

          Oh that's interesting. I wonder if that applies in qld too?

          • +9

            @Quantumcat: While not specifically allowed to stop short term rentals I have been in ones that stop unknown people coming in the building, require card access that must be paid for, no unregistered people allowed after certain hours and must be signed in and removal of people due to fire risks (issues with over crowding in some apartments). I have a feeling that some of these rules probably aren't enforceable by law, but definitely know sydney apartment blocks that definitely enforce them. So I do feel there is something there.

            I also think body corp can fine for issues like noise and stuff? Unsure how far it can go but I know the agreement I was sent just as a tenant had some pretty full on ones.

            • +4

              @trustnoone: Sounds pretty draconian to me.

              Pretty much unenforceable if challenged. People have a right to unlimited access to their own property and common areas. Bylaws can be made for whatever, doesn't mean they're legal tho.

        • There's always loopholes

        • -1

          Really? A 25 para judgment in NCAT - not even in the Appeal Panel?

          Any legal practitioner will tell you that NCAT is a joke and hardly authoritative.

          • @canyoudoitcheaper: I'm mainly familar with VCAT. Their orders are definitely not a joke or hardly authoritative. Similar decisions have been made here.

            OP can issue, fail, then can appeal or uplift but get ready to spend $$$.

        • It's almost like you own the property that you buy!

    • +4

      Why would you not care if you lived there? Why would you want loud noises, parties near you?!

      • +5

        Maybe it's actually not as bad as the OP makes it out to be. "Unruly behaviour and partying" could just be 4 guys out in the backyard having a drink and chat.

      • Inherent risk of a property with common areas

    • my friend live on GC same problem as you get on Body corp and put owner up keep on calling cops out for problem people. you put in before body corp a No AIRBnB short term rent allowed rule on unit complex. Council on GC are doing stuff about it keep talking to them. if keep on calling cop review will drop.

  • +4

    And yes, Qld Police may attend and quieten down a party on one night. But, unfortunately it's just a different group of people staying the following night. I'm hoping there might be a more long-term solution to address this.

    • +25

      Keep reporting noise issue to police, in NSW I think after few attempt the owner will get in trouble too.

      Had similar issue with my neighbour for my town house, our balcony is next to each other as well as close to my bedroom.

      Every Friday and weekend there were different people in there partying chatting and smoking.

      After I think 5 reports the owner rent it out for long term least instead of AirBnb then after 6 months they sold it.

      People with AirBnb would be annoyed as they just celabrating birthday or anniversary. They will leave bad feedback about police visit and no one would rent it anymore.

      • In NSW, I have complained multiple times on the non-emergency number 131 444 but the police never show up. Did you call 000?

        • +1

          No I called 131 444, you should chase them up by calling again and getting the reference number.

          If they did come you can report back and they will give you a reason why.

          Never use 000

  • +2

    OP do you own your apartment or rent?

    • +3

      Hi, I own it.

  • +5

    GC Council has some local laws governing party houses (local law 19 I think, maybe some others), you can read these on the website and see if they're in violation. Council will take action if they are in breach.

    Also Council rates the property differently for tourist rental vs normal rental, so it's worth letting them know if it's being rented on Airbnb because their rates will go up if they're not already rated correctly.

    • +2

      Thanks I have now reported it as a party house on GCCC website. See what they do.

      • +2

        Good luck getting gccc to do anything, absolutely useless.

        • +5

          I think that goes for a lot of councils…

          • +2

            @Lord Fart Bucket: I'm sure it does, I've just had first hand experience with gccc doing nothing in regards to developers breaking many rules, for over a year, with not only video and photo evidence, but witnessed by council staff. As long as they are getting their rates and development fees they don't give a rat's.

        • +1

          oh I think CoGC (City of Gold Coast) will act fairly quickly now that they have been made aware they can get extra revenue from the increased rates.

          Don't see the AirBnB going away anytime soon…

        • +1

          They'll probably forcibly resume it, sell it to their cousin, and then rezone it for a high rise.

      • -2

        GCCC can't do anything.

        My understanding is as long as the property meets the planning conditions for short term rental ie. smoke detectors, and owner specifies an maximum occupancy limit of 4, then GCCC is powerless.

        Pretty certain airbnb give all this information when owners sign up.

    • +1

      GCCC also requires to be registered as AirBnB and the feesfuor this are substantial so they like to know about them.

  • +1

    OP, not much you can do. No different than if it was the owner themselves causing extra noise, parties, unruly behaviour, unknown people visiting.

    Keep calling the police. Record everything. If it happens enough you might have grounds to issue in NCAT. But all that will happen is they may get a fine. No requirement for them to stop.

    As with any crap neighbour, your best (and easiest) option is to move.

  • +2

    Unfortunately there is not much you can do.

    A close friend of mine bought a property in inner Melbourne and her neighbour had done the same thing. 2 years later, it’s still happening and not getting better.

    They’ve tried council, but they can’t do anything.

    Now they just text the owner every time there an issue, no matter how big or small, but they don’t do anything either.


    • +1

      Had they tried calling police everytime it happened?

      • +3

        They call the police when it’s insane noise but unfortunately a little bit of noise happens every night and if they began calling the cops every night they would probably be the nuisance to the police.

        They have had them come out on several occasions, and probably still do once a month.

  • +16

    Hire Corey Worthington for a night there.

    • +3

      Take off your glasses.

  • +47

    Airbnb it a few times and give it really poor reviews ie neighbours are busy body arseholes who call the police on you.

    • +44

      Better yet, just become a lousy neighbour yourself (tell other neighbours to join in), annoy the guests, and they'll leave negs on airbnb themselves.

      • +9

        Offer to sell products to the airbnb guests







        • +2

          ^ ^ this guy super-villians

  • +9

    Pay some unscrupulous types to rent it out and have a huge party, and encourage them to trash the place

    • +12


      • +3

        OP is on Gold Coast, so plenty of them around or just across the border.

      • +5

        Unlikely. They’re too busy making meth down at the clubhouse to have a few nights off to trash someone else’s place.

        • +5

          Maybe get them to make meth there.

    • +4

      And post it on Facebook so you get 500 people turning up.

  • -2

    Every Body Corp would have a set of By-Laws. Do check and see whether there is any clause in relation to short-term rentals.

    If you are Owner, check whether the Complex is Accommodation Module or Standard Module.
    Generally Accommodation Module is only for long-term rentals but it might vary. Again, check the By-Law.

    If you are Tenant, pretty sure your Lease should state that you are entitled to "peaceful enjoyment" and if this is breached, you can inform the Owners/Landlord/Agent that there has been a breach, and you can cancel the Lease.

    • +2

      As discussed earlier, the bylaws are unenforceable. Already been tested VCAT and NCAT do far.

      The peaceful enjoyment clause refers to the Landlord. It is NOT the landlord's responsibility to ensure the rest of the world keeps quiet around your tenancy. So no, you can't cancel the Lease I'm a situation like this.

  • 1) If money is not an issue you can rent their airbnb and post bad reviews on their property to discourage future guests from coming
    2) You can accidentally lather shit on the door handle so the actual guests post bad reviews
    So many possibilities to make the guests post bad reviews
    If you are renting, move out. If you bought the unit and body corp nor authorities would help, you know what to do ;)
    I was in a similar situation, I was renting, so I moved

    • +1

      Thanks, unfortunately I am an owner. It was a beautiful quiet beachside location. I will consider your advice haha

      • +3

        GC is a well known tourism/party getaway hotspot. Comes with the territory unfortunately.

    • +7

      “Lather shit” 😳

    • +2

      you can rent their airbnb and post bad reviews on their property

      Rent it and ask your local homeless or meth addict to visit?

      • I would advice against this… You can get banned on AirBnb forever if caught.

    • +3

      Continuing on this line of thought, why don't YOU become the bad neighbours?

      Stay up late blasting music and banging on the walls. 1 star property in no time.

      • +3

        Or get up at 8am and play some loud music

  • Thanks everyone for your comments. Some good advice in there.

    • maybe consider private nuisance?

  • +1

    Get independent legal advice, see if you can draft a bylaw, and speak directly to other owners to convince them before you submit it.

  • +28

    Superglue the key hole to the apartment so airbnb cant get in.

  • +5

    Pretty sure this might be illegal, but hide a dead fish somewhere almost impossible to find …

    They will be forever finding where the dead rotten smell is coming from.

    Neg review first sure. But u gotta rent it first.

    Make sure someone is in and out before you so u don't get caught on chances that it could be you.

    Or a dead rat.
    You know how it goes

  • -1

    Try renting the apartment out yourself to ensure that way you know who the occupants are.

    • +2

      like Singapore. Air BnB troublemakers would be publicly caned.

      Really? People get publicly caned in Singapore for making noise? Never heard that one before.

    • +8

      the greater the distance between yourself and other people, the better


      I couldn't help but laugh out loud! :-)

  • +1

    This is the key problem with 'new economy' business like Uber and AirBnB. They move in, flouting local laws and regulations, but not enough to actually get the company into trouble. They'll twist the definitions of basic English words to fit their purposes (since when is "sharing" doing paid work for somebody?), and eventually be big enough and used by enough customers that governments are basically powerless to do anything about the foreign corporation.

    As mentioned above by others, calling the police on a regular basis may work for a while but eventually the police are going to be more annoyed with you than the people causing trouble. It's pretty much a lose-lose situation. If you take steps to make the AirBnB nasty for customers (gluing locks, etc) then it's obvious who is doing the damage.

  • +6

    Complain to Airbnb every single time the guests violate a hosting rule.

  • +1

    I doubt if council, police or owners corp can do anything.

    You may warn the owner if the patrons of his house keeps disrupting, you will inform ATO about the airbnb property.

    • +1

      Username checks out.
      What's with the mentions of the ATO? Is airbnb illegal or something?

      • +1

        probably assuming the owners are really dumb and aren't reporting the Airbnb income to the ATO. If I suspected that I wouldn't warn I would just straight up report them, easy with the ATO website.

        • +1

          Yeah okay. Looks like airbnb already tell the ATO so the owners probably report it. And I agree, I'd just report them as well lol.

  • +19

    people knocking on neighbours doors asking "how to check in".

    You're missing a golden opportunity here. Place a sign, "Sign in with appt x" on their door." When they come to your door, require cash security deposit, consultancy fee, late night fee, holiday permit, IDK fee, DILLIGAF fee, noise fee etc. etc. When they're making noise, knock on their door and demand your 'call out fee' etc.

    Ensure you do random inspections during their stay. Ensure you bill them appropriately for the inspection.

    (So tempted to tick, I am associated with Airbnb just to make this advice official)

  • +2

    You need to bring it up at the next body corp AGM make a rule no short stays but you need to get the other owns to agree to it and that is hard it will also damage the value of your property because it might turn future investors off

  • +1

    It may be worthwhile going to council, police and body corporate.

    You can make noise complaints online via PoliceLink at the time the noise is happening. This can be anonymous if you like.

    To get advice from council, just call the general enquiry line and ask what your options are.

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