You may have come across a recent report involving a squatter who purposely overstayed her Airbnb stay in New South Wales (as featured on A Current Affair).
The legal owner issued a notice to the squatter to vacate the property which resulted in the squatter hiring a security guard to keep the owner from accessing the home.
A non-fixed periodic agreement
Legally, if a situation like this was to arise in QLD the squatter or tenant would be considered to be on a non-fixed periodic agreement under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act. The police will consider your Airbnb agreement as a private civil matter and will not assist in the removal of the tenant until a warrant of possession has been issued by a court or tribunal.
To terminate a non-fixed periodic tenant from your Airbnb property you need to issue them a Form 12 – Notice to leave. This needs to be done before you make an application though the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). The minimum notice that is required to give a tenant will depend on the circumstances surrounding the termination. For example, a tenant must be given 7 days’ notice for an un-remedied breach of rent arrears.
If a tenant has refused to leave the property after the Notice to leave has expired the Residential Tenancy Authority (RTA) allows you to make an application straight to QCAT. This type of situation will be considered urgent and allow you to bypass the RTA’s dispute resolution process. You will need to complete a Form 2 – Application for minor civil dispute – residential tenancy dispute which must include any supporting documentation.
Once your application and forms have been processed by QCAT, all parties will receive a notice to attend a hearing where you can request QCAT to issue you with a warrant of possession. If you are granted a warrant of possession, it will authorise a police officer to enter the property and give possession back to the owner.
To save unnecessary delay, stress and cost in your Airbnb tenancy dispute or in relation to terminating any agreements under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act we recommend you seek professional legal advice.