Trish Burt, Convenor, Neighbours Not Strangers.
On the subject of tourist/visitor letting, Byron Shire Cr Paul Spooner believes ‘we need…to convince the state government to change’. He misses the point completely. It’s local councils who must be mandated to enforce our current zoning legislation.
NSW has ‘world’s best’ legislation plus case law. It cannot be emphasised enough: residential housing is for the housing of residents and mixing short-term tourist/visitor letting with permanent residents is fundamentally incompatible, with the impacts on neighbours severe.
A ‘bed tax’ assumes that the council will receive income but leaves landlords breaching Australian building codes, NSW Fire and Rescue criteria, the National Disability Discrimination Act plus zoning legislation, etc.
Short-term letting should be banned in all strata properties where common property is paid for collectively.
Those in a freestanding, single-family dwelling have the option of a B&B license. Byron has 106 B&B operators – why aren’t their interests put before those involved in unregulated Airbnb’s? Is the accommodation industry to be deregulated, or just Airbnb?
More than 2,765 Byron homes are available to transients from every country, except Syria, Iran and North Korea. Byron residents can only access these homes at hugely inflated prices. Why should the monetary drive of short-term letting landlords take priority over the needs of Byron residents?
‘Home-sharing’ is sharing a home with those in need of housing. Safe, secure, affordable shelter is after all a basic human right.
Councillors: please act in the interests of Byron residents. If you can’t, you shouldn’t be drawing a wage from Byron ratepayers.
Our Petition to Parliament: https://www.communityrun.org/petitions/stop-short-term-lets-neighbours-not-strangers-2