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February 25, 2021

Airbnb operators may be forced to pay compensation to neighbours

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The Airbnb logo.
The Airbnb logo.

Airbnb operators in popular tourist centres such as Byron Bay could be forced to pay compensation to their neighbours if their guests become too rowdy under proposed new regulations.

Apartment owners could also be made to pay extra strata funds and there might be limits on the number of days a property can be let without a development application.

The proposals are included in an options paper to be released for public consultation today, after the state government earlier this year called for input on how to regulate the booming short lets industry.

Solutions for the private market, which usually operates on sites such as Airbnb and Stayz, range from self-regulation to changes to strata and planning rules.

One proposed strata rule change would allow owners’ corporations to ask the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to order owners to pay compensation when guest behaviour affects others in the building, or issue a temporary ban on short-term letting, News Corp Australia reports.

The proposed regulations come as Byron Shire Council has vowed to forge ahead with plans to regulate holiday letting.

The council also  recently announced it would again pursue illegal holiday letting.

Jordan Condo, who is Stayz director of corporate and government affairs, recently told The Echo that  ‘Byron Bay could lose this source of jobs and economic growth by introducing measures that would penalise families who let out their holiday houses, who have been the backbone of Byron Bay’s tourism industry.’

‘Why should someone who owns a beach shack and has for decades, leased it out to others when not using it themselves, suddenly be handed a bunch of red tape and financial burden for providing accommodation in the parts of NSW where it is needed the most,’ Mr Condo said.

‘It does not make any sense and it’s not evidence-based policy making.

‘
There are more than 40,000 Airbnb listings in NSW, including 17,000 in greater Sydney alone.’

But Greens councillor Michael Lyon said  the greatest damage to the Byron Bay community was caused by holiday letting.’

 


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1 COMMENT

  1. The government’s ‘Options Paper’ failed to distinguish between holiday homes and city short-term rentals, which is the focus of the issues that have created the need for this paper and subsequent enquiry into holiday homes. A fair and balanced approach to the short term rental industry needs to consider all aspects including regulation of rogue operators, Licensed estate agents like Emerald & Aqua should be part of the mix.
    At heart of this issue is the anti-social behaviour of guests. Lets focus on the cause not the symptoms, guest behaviour should be the focal point, the industry should not be held to account for a poor guest behaviour.
    There already exists strong consumer, community and landlord regulations that every Licensed Real Estate Agent needs to comply with – use the existing framework.

    A fair and balanced approach to the short term rental industry needs to consider all aspects including regulation of rogue operators, Licensed estate agents like Emerald & Aqua should be part of the mix. #EmeraldAqua, #WollongongAccommodation, #EmeraldandAqua

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