Should short-term letting be allowed in sectional title schemes?
CITATION: Van der Merwe, C. G. 2018. Should short-term letting be allowed in sectional title schemes?. Journal of South African Law / Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg, 2018(3):507-522.
The original publication is available at https://journals.co.za
Short-term letting of bedrooms and apartments in condominiums for periods shorter than six or three months is not a new phenomenon. It has always been possible to grant tenancies lasting a few months or less. What is new are the digital platforms that are facilitating the commercialisation of such short-term letting. The recent surge in popularity of global accommodation websites such as Airbnb and Stayz enables sectional owners to advertise and market their apartments to holidaymakers all over the world. These opportunities are being seized by apartment owners around South Africa, including premier residential complexes in coastal towns and cities, where there is a burgeoning demand for secure, affordable, self-catering holiday accommodation. Increasing numbers of condominium owners who bought into condominiums for the purpose of investment or as holiday or retirement accommodation are abandoning traditional long-term leasing in favour of private holiday letting. Owner occupiers and even tenants are also joining the party by letting out spare rooms and even couches to supplement their income. An increasing number of sectional owners prefer the high income generated quickly from shortterm letting over the traditional forms of renting out their sections on longer-term leases. The higher income makes it easier for them to cope with any increases in mortgage interest rates and sectional title levies.