With more than 25,000 listings in the Flatshare & Houseshare category on Gumtree, it’s safe to say we offer one of the most popular tools for renters to find a new place or a new housemate.
While the majority of accommodation listed on the site is legitimate, unfortunately some landlords offering unsafe or illegal living arrangements do target Gumtree.
It’s important to recognise what these unsafe situations are before looking to rent a property for long-term or short-term stay.
Building codes provide strict guidance on how many people can occupy the same house or apartment
Some landlords rent their house or apartment to multiple occupants under individual agreements, or to tourists for short-term stays, and don’t comply with building codes.
Similarly, premises offering short-term stay must comply with the Holiday Rental Code of Conduct
Some landlords offer illegal or non-approved short term and tourist style accommodation that is unsafe for occupants and surrounding neighbours.
Renovations to a premises or dwelling must comply with local council regulations, ensuring the premises is safe and inhabitable for all who reside there
Some landlords do illegal building works, subdividing their premises into many small rooms, to maximise their income. This non-approved use of premises and works could cause serious safety issues, especially in the event of a fire.
For Sydney Residents
If you are concerned about yours or a friend’s rental, or see these types of rooms advertised, please report it to the local council responsible for the area where the property is located.
The City of Sydney looks after the Sydney CBD and inner Sydney
Reports can be made to the City of Sydney anonymously, although the City requires an address of the premises to investigate complaints of unauthorised accommodation.
If you can also provide evidence, such as links to websites or copies of advertisements promoting the premises, it will help the City to stop this unsafe activity.
You can contact the City of Sydney 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 9265 9333 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you live outside of Sydney and have some of these concerns, please contact your local council or use the ‘Report Ad’ function on Gumtree for any listings you believe may be breaking the law.