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Byron Shire
March 6, 2021

Fairfax self-serving over holiday letting

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About three months ago a woman from the mid-north coast took her neighbour to court over holiday letting, the council (as always) not being interested. She won even though that council’s LEP was less clearcut than our own LEP rules.
In the upshot the Sydney Morning Herald ran an article that was a sub-story in favour of holiday letting, citing a particular person whose mother was able to be in a nursing home only because of income from holiday letting; boo-hoo. I was stunned by how blatantly one-sided the article was and how it set out not to look at the issue but to present the holiday-letting case favourably, à la Murdoch.

In a recent SMH the explanation was unwittingly provided. The holiday-letting company Stayz is owned by Fairfax! So much for Fairfax’s much-bragged-about ‘Charter of Editorial Independence’.

Holiday letting seems untouchable but I see it as forcing house prices up and forcing rents up, as well as encouraging absentee landlords and a general atmosphere of greed, plunder and cynicism. A residential zoning ought to guarantee you neighbours who are residents, not tourists.

Fast Buck$, Coorabell


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1 COMMENT

  1. I don’t always agree with Fast Bucks, but thoroughly agree with his thoughts on holiday letting.
    The executive director of Stayz was the chairman of the commitee, consisisting of representatives from the holiday lets industry including HLO Byron, that designed the Holiday Rental Code Of Conduct. This was designed to give the appearance that they are trying to solve the problems in the industry, but is a white wash.

    A close reading of this 25 page poorly designed code shows the faults, omissions and mistakes. It includes one let rule which is contrary to NSW law.It is mandatory for owners, managers who advertise on Stayz, and their clients, to abide by this code. I doubt that it is read. Poorly researched and unwieldy.

    Stayz does have an online complaints process. I am aware of several neighbours of holiday lets who have complained, including documented evidence. Nothing was done to rectify the problems and no response received. Another white wash! I am aware of a Gold Coast holiday let that had its advertising on Stayz withdrawn, but only after the neighbours publicised the problems on the internet.

    I fully understand why the victims of holiday lets become cynical about a system that caters to the greed of holiday lets owners who don’t care about the neighbours, and, a council that won’t apply its own law.

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