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Byron Shire
May 6, 2021

Byron council condemns ‘Instant Hotel’ television show

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Luke Jacobz hosts Seven's new series Instant Hotel with leading interiors and design expert Juliet Ashworth.
Luke Jacobz hosts Seven’s new series Instant Hotel with leading interiors and design expert Juliet Ashworth.

A Byron Shire property that features on the television program Instant Hotel  has received more than 21 complaints in the past two years.

The owner also received an on-the-spot fine of $3,000 last week, according to Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson.

Cr Richardson said he was concerned to see the property on Red Gate Road at South Golden Beach promoted as an ‘instant hotel’ particularly because there was a history of non-compliance with respect to the use of the property.

‘The owners of this property have a flagrant disregard for Byron Shire Council and thus, the community, which is charged with protecting the rights of residents against unlawful developments,’ he said

‘To see this property promoted on national television as an ‘instant hotel’ is extremely disappointing given it is not currently complying with council regulations.

‘Council has had more than 21 complaints about this property in the last two years and in fact Council issued a $3,000 on-the-spot fine to the owner of the premises on 2 November 2017 in relation to unauthorised activities.

Mayor Richardson said the council was asking Airbnb to be the responsible corporate citizen they claim to be and withdraw their support for Instant Hotel and condemn the use of the house for unlawful holiday letting.

[Unauthorised short-term rental accommodation generates a wide range of complaints from local residents and they are also competing with recognised holiday and visitor accommodation providers who do work with the council and obey the rules,’ Cr Richardson said.

‘2,655 properties in the Byron Shire were advertised on holiday platforms such as Airbnb in 2017 and when you consider there are only 4,256 listings for the Northern Rivers area, this is having a massive impact on our residential neighbourhoods.

‘To put this into perspective there are only 15,645 dwellings in the whole of the Byron Shire so that means almost 17 per cent of properties are on Airbnb.

‘The proliferation of unauthorised short-term holiday accommodation is threatening the fabric of our community and in some areas it is getting to the point where long-term residents don’t know anyone in their street anymore.

‘Short-term letting significantly reduces the amount of permanent and affordable rental accommodation.

‘Byron Shire Council is putting owners of unauthorised short-term rental accommodation on notice – we are watching you and will prosecute if necessary.’

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  1. This shows what illegal holiday letting is all about. Bring on the NSW Land and Environment Court action as soon as possible. Get the message out to the unethical and greedy holiday let owners and managers that holiday letting in Byron Shire is an illegal and prohibited activity.

  2. Airbnb have already taken The Sands off their list. Assume the couple won’t win this stupid appalling “competition”. It is only advertising for Airbnb. As holiday letting is an illegal and prohibited activity in R2 residential zones, I wonder whether Airbnb will be ethical and de-list all the other illegal holiday lets in Byron Shire.

    Still listed with Stayz.

  3. If Byron Shire Council wants to continue to allow unapproved properties to operate without any rules or compliance, then perhaps they should be more lenient towards the approved and legal operators who have to comply with regulation on so many levels, such as having to pay for fire safety audits and inspections, food administration fees, food and safety inspections, have to provide disabled facilities, car parking including disabled parking, vehicles having to enter and leave the property in a forward motion, increased water and sewage rates, increased garbage rates, public liability insurance, the list goes on.

    A compliant and approved property in Byron Shire pays more the $14,000 per year in council rates, almost double the rates of other properties in the same area, and the approved property doesn’t even have the privilege of receiving a green waste bin because it is considered commercial.

    If an Airbnb thinks it’s not commercial, the moment someone pays to stay in a room, tent or rent a whole house, then according to the Australian Taxation Office, it is a commercial business.

    If an illegal or non-compliant property has a guest that experiences a serious accident or even worse, death, it is highly unlikely that an insurance company will cover the claim, as most policies require some form of council approval.


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