Airbnb and Schoolies 2020


A recent decision by Airbnb to ban so called ‘party houses’ has been welcomed by the strata sector in New South Wales and changes the landscape drastically for the upcoming (and ongoing) schoolies celebrations.

Airbnb announced a worldwide ban on party house bookings and said it would consider legal action against anyone caught out.

This is good news for the strata sector and for owners of apartments, units and townhouses who have had to pay out large sums of money to repair the damage caused by party house use.

Apart from the noise factor, party houses have seen a trail of destruction which the owners have had to pay for, for too long.

In the strata sector, Airbnb use in apartments and units has also been a problem for residents and other owners because of damage done to common property. Leaving owners to foot the bill.

The Airbnb decision will also cause a major rethink about how schoolies will operate this year in NSW.

Schoolies Week 2020 has been formally cancelled by the Queensland Government, because of coronavirus restrictions, leaving many northern NSW school leavers needing to rethink their plans this November.

Byron Bay Mayor Simon Richardson confirmed schoolies in the northern NSW tourist town – emerging as the most viable schoolies option for Sydney students due to travel restrictions – would not be serviced with typical amenities this year.

As authorities confirm the end-of-year event will look quite different at hotspots in Northern New South Wales, young people and event planners are being warned that any large parties will be shut down under public health orders.

Despite the restrictions, overcrowding in apartments, noise complaints, damage to private and common property, drugs and underage drinking, and the health and safety of all are some of the concerns held by the industry in New South Wales.

We are urging strata managers and on-site letting agents to carefully consider applications for accommodation from school-leavers to ensure issues like overcrowding and parties are avoided.

Any schoolies flouting Public Health Orders or partying in an Airbnb booking could face stiff penalties and could face legal action for those who are caught.

Parents of schoolies should be very aware that they may now be held liable given this party house ban or for any damage caused to individual units and apartments or public spaces. The entertainment factor may be scaled right back because of COVID-19, but the bookings will still happen whether border restrictions are in place or not.