Byron Shire Council compliance staff will again be looking into unauthorised holiday letting after Greens Cr Michael Lyon’s motion was supported (Cr Hunter against) at last Thursday’s meeting.
It lifts a moratorium on prosecutions, which ceased a number of years ago.
Cr Michael Lyon told The Echo, ‘We intend to obtain records from people such as letting agents and website hosts in order to build the cases and prosecute unlawful short-term rental.’
‘It has become a menace in this town and is destroying the fabric of our community. A quick glance in The Echo classifieds from last week, three years ago and six years ago, shows that there are next to no places for long-term rent available now, or share accommodation which wasn’t as bad as three years ago and it was a far better situation six years ago.
‘In the past, the effect of STRA was manageable because we didn’t have the online systems such as Airbnb that we have now. We are not getting any help from the state government on this issue but more and more communities around the world are understanding the trimental effect this is having on their communities and they are demanding quite rightly that their local representatives stand up for them and preserve their ability to stay in their towns.
‘We need to translate this into dialogue with state government that addresses these concerns and ensures the sustainability of our local culture and community.’
Cr Lyon’s motion also asks staff to ‘Compile a confidential list of properties against which it may commence legal proceedings based on the establishment of a prima-facie case of unauthorised short-term rental accommodation and unauthorised tourist and visitor accommodation, and that this list is compiled as soon as possible.’
Mayor Simon Richardson told his followers on social media, ‘We have no choice but to jump back into the trenches and fire off litigation missiles.’