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Byron Shire
December 3, 2021

One in six Byron properties being holiday let

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New figures from Byron Shire Council show one in six properties in the shire are being holiday let. Photo: AirbnbSecrets

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.

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  1. Dear Mark Arnold, please advise:
    Short-term holiday rentals of class 1(a) and class 2 dwellings are a breach of Federal/State/Local Goverment legislation. Please identify which property owners “obey the rules”?
    You only refer to Airbb listings in the Northern Rivers area. Please include all those dwellings advertised and rented short-term through Expedia(Stayz), local Real Estate Agents plus the NSW State Government’s Visit NSW website and, in turn, provide a more precise account of the number of residental properties lost to short-term rentals in your Shire and how this compares to the overall number of residential dwellings.
    How exactly is Byron Shire Concil going to respond to those residents ‘who believe their neighbours are doing the wrong thing’ and exactly what action is Council taking – given your current situation?
    When will legal action commence and will you be issuing fines on all property owners who are short-term letting their residential dwellings?

  2. ‘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,’

    How do I find out if my neighbour’s holiday let accommodation is “unauthorised’?

    • If the holiday let is in a R2 residential zone in Byron Shire, then it will definitely be an illegal and prohibited activity. The majority of holiday lets in Byron Shire are illegal. This makes the owners crooks. The managers, real estate agents and online disruptors are aiding and abetting an illegal activity.

  3. Mark Arnold states “Short-term holiday rentals, whose operators work with council and obey the rules”.

    He needs to be specific. There are very few holiday lets that are following “the rules” in Byron Shire. I presume Mark Arnold is referring to the authorised holiday lets that have applied for and been granted a DA in a zone that allows holiday letting and pay a commercial rate. Holiday lets in R2 residential zones are illegal. These holiday lets that follow “the rules” should be to a standard of being a class 1(b) or class3 building under the National Construction Code.and have applied rules for Disability Access To Premises building standards. They should have also applied all fire and safety rules to their holiday let.

    Is Mark Arnold referring to the highly discredited Holiday Rental Code of Conduct? Even the State government recognises major problems with this voluntary so called Code.

    Enough talk Byron Council! Time for action. It has been 6 months since Council lifted the moratorium on prosecution of illegal holiday letting. Let the community see that you are genuine. Take class 4 legal prosecutions in the NSW land and Environment Court against those who continue to break the law. Don’t put it in the too hard basket.


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