Due to the growing popularity of short-term rental sites in Australia, as many as 35,000 properties are being sublet by tenants throughout the country.
While most guests who stay in short-term rentals are law-abiding and honest, unauthorised subletting could expose properties to a whole host of risks, including out-of-control parties, uninsured property damage, disorderly conduct, drug use, and other aberrations.
While property owners, building and strata managers, and property managers could manually monitor the various short-term rental sites for unauthorised sublets, the process is both time-consuming and tedious.
To address this pain point, BnbGuard recently launched the first service in Australia that monitors unauthorised subletting. According to site co-founder Reuben Schwarz, there is a strong need for such a service in the thriving real estate market.
“BnbGuard was developed by my co-founder Richard Frey and myself, and was created to solve the problem of illegal subletting,” he told Your Investment Property. “We couldn’t believe nobody was offering this kind of service in Australia, so we’re proud to say we’re the first of its kind here in this market!”
The idea for BnbGuard came to the duo when one of them listed their rental on Airbnb and realised how easy it was to do and how difficult it was for property owners to monitor unauthorised sublets.
“The service just launched to the public this month following a successful soft-launch in November 2017, when we accepted a few clients to pilot the technology,” Schwarz said. “We currently monitor over 3,000 properties, mainly in Melbourne and Sydney, but we are growing fast and getting sign-ups by the day, which is really exciting.
“We understand that property, strata, and building managers each look after hundreds of properties, and juggle a heavy workload each day, so we’re saving them the hassle of manual monitoring and freeing up time for more important jobs. For the property owners, and often the neighbours too, we bring peace of mind knowing that BnbGuard prevents the problem before it’s even a problem.”
Schwarz added that BnbGuard was a major step up from manually monitoring listings on holiday rental platforms.
“Checking it yourself is boring, takes a long time, and is hard to do accurately. We’ve tested this out for ourselves and it takes on average 210 minutes per week to monitor your property on short-term rental sites. When you multiply this for building and property managers who oversee hundreds of properties at a time, we free them up to work on other tasks for their customers,” he said.
“We’ve also found that many short-term rental websites give false addresses and restrict the number of search results. This means that when searching for your property in a specific area quite often it won’t show up no matter how hard you look.
“We can handle all these tricks and also know all the photo manipulation tricks some tenants use!”
The co-founders of BnbGuard: Reuben Schwarz (left) and Richard Frey (right).