How Gen Z tenants took inspiration from Airbnb to avoid rent

How four uni students took inspiration from Airbnb to get their rent covered so they can still afford holidays and ‘life experiences’

  • Uni students created Nesteek to sublet their rentals
  • Allows them to take holidays and afford life experiences 

A group of uni students have banded together to create an Airbnb-inspired way to rent and still be able to afford to travel.

The four University of Technology Sydney (UTS) students said young Australians have been deprived of the travel experience offered to older generations because of Covid, soaring rental prices and the cost of living crisis.

They created Nesteek which lets renters sublet their room to cover the rent while they’re away on a holiday.

Nesteek co-founder and CEO Keith Schembri, 21, said travel has been out of reach for many Gen Zs because of a 10 per cent increase in rent versus a three per cent increase in the average wage last year. 

Nesteek co-founder and CEO Keith Schembri (above) said his new platform Nesteek lets Gen Zs sublet their apartment to cover rent while they’re on holiday

”Do not pay rent while away’ is our rallying cry, because most young professionals and students I know cannot afford to travel and pay rent simultaneously,’ he told

‘My generation is virtually penniless after paying their rent, but we deserve the same opportunities as any other generation, to enjoy life, create new experiences, and explore other cultures.

‘The pandemic robbed us of our gap years, our festivals, our holiday romances. We want to move on but travel still seems out of reach.’

Properties available on the site (example above) range from $280 to $1,600 per week

Nesteek means customers can also search for accommodation for an affordable price.

Properties already listed on the website – including single rooms in share-homes, apartments and studios – range from $280 to $1,600 per week in some of Sydney’s top suburbs.

The students believe Nesteek is one solution to Airbnb’s rising rates, with more homeowners looking to make a business out of the website rather than sticking to its original ‘budget’ ethos.

Airbnb hosts have also come under fire for charging exorbitant fees that often make hotels a cheaper option.

Recent studies found the price listed on an Airbnb property is often only 68 per cent of the actual price customers pay with the average cleaning fee now $100 and a flat 15 per cent host service fee, Nerdwallet found.

Mr Schembri said Nesteek works to protect its listers by automatically deducting funds from the guest’s bank account a week before their stay and holding a bond.

Mr Schembri said Nesteek offers young Aussies the opportunity to travel despite soaring rental prices (pictured, one of the properties available on Nesteek)

The students believe Nesteek is one solution to Airbnb’s rising rates, with more homeowners looking to make a business out of the website rather than sticking to its original ‘budget’ ethos

However, he warned users against using the site as a ‘side hustle’ and encouraged listers to only cover the cost of rent in their asking price. 

Renters should also be wary of the conditions of their lease before they use the platform.

Most landlords prohibit subleasing – which includes listing properties on platforms like Airbnb and Nesteek – and failure to comply can often result in the termination of the lease. 

However, many Aussies are struggling just to get their hands on a property to rent.

A housing shortage means people living in major cities are having to pay insane prices for a place in the limited market.

The average weekly rent for a house in Sydney is $630, while a unit is $530 per week and $560 for a dwelling.

Photos circulating on social media show hundreds of people lined up in massive queues hoping to inspect a property while thousands more are continuously rejected on applications in favour of higher bidders. 

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