22 May 2018

Tenant ordered to hand over $11k in Airbnb profits

12:59 pm on 22 May 2018

A Wellington tenant has been forced to hand over more than $11,000 of profit after sub-letting an apartment on Airbnb.

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Photo: AFP

Jeff Walter Paterson started renting the Taranaki Street apartment in May last year, and then subleased the property 54 times on Airbnb in violation of his tenancy agreement.

Six months later the owners noticed and contacted him.

When contacted by the owners by email, Mr Paterson did not mention the subletting, and instead said he had moved out because of significant earthquake damage.

The case was taken to the Tenancy Tribunal by a Wellington Property Manager, Keith Powell, who represented the owners as they are overseas.

"They were pretty, shall I say, pretty pissed off about finding it. They've been very upset and distressed about it particularly when on the other side of the world.

"It is actually their retirement home, they're travelling and this was the home they were coming back to as a retirement home when they return from their travels," he said.

The tenancy tribunal has ordered Mr Paterson to pay the owners $11,513.29 for unpaid rent, Airbnb profits and other damages.

The couple plan to donate the money to charity, Mr Powell said.