Of the 15,654 dwellings in the Byron Shire 2,655 properties were advertised on holiday platforms such as Airbnb in 2017, according to new figures released by Byron Shire Council this week.
This equates to around 17 per cent, or one in every six houses in the shire, about half of the total number of holiday-let properties in the entire Northern Rivers.
The council’s acting general manager, Mark Arnold, said accommodation was at a premium and many people are renting out their homes for short-term holiday accommodation.
But he added there are good and bad landlords as well as good and bad tenants.
‘Short-term holiday rentals, whose operators work with council and obey the rules, are important in the overall supply of accommodation in the Byron shire,’ he said ‘but we have a significant problem with people who rent their homes for unauthorised holiday letting’.
No regard for neighbours
Mr Arnold said problems arise when there is ‘a constant stream of visitors moving through residential neighbourhoods and staying for short amounts of time.
‘There often seems to be little regard for residents who are subjected to loud music, anti-social behaviour and late-night parties and this is disrupting the lives of local people.
Dob in a noisy neighbour
‘Our residents are constantly telling us they are tired of being victims of the tourism industry when it comes to the impact on their home lives and when you consider that of the 4,265 holiday listings on Airbnb in the Northern Rivers that more than half are in the Byron Shire you can see how big the problem is,’ Mr Arnold said.
‘Council has recently resolved to make clear its intention to prosecute the owners of unauthorised short-term rental accommodation, and residents who believe their neighbours are doing the wrong thing, are asked to contact Byron Shire Council,’ he said.