What a pity the Australian Short Term Rental Association didn’t use their two columns in their full-page ad in The Echo (28 September) for a direct comparison between Council’s claims and theirs. That’s probably because they will use any argument to justify their cause for unlimited holiday letting. They were comparing apples to durians.
As I understand it, certain areas in the Shire will always be available for 365 days holiday letting: certain areas will fall under the 90-day holiday letting cap. This allows people like myself (STRA registered) to go for holidays; renting our houses out to pay for them.
Investors with houses want maximum return with little regard for the neighbourhood effects of happy – but irresponsible – partying holiday makers. This is not a local problem. It’s in communities in Europe, Hawaii, Spain and the UK too
Tourism NSW wants more tourists for the economy, but doesn’t care that Byron Bay or other tourist towns are already saturated with tourists. The way to add more sugar to water to make a supersaturated solution is to heat it up. The way to make more money is to fill up all the houses with tourists. The irony is that the extra tourists want their houses cleaned, cold drinks at their bars, nice service at the restaurants; but there are no affordable residences for the workers.
According to the advertisement’s ASTRA quote, jobs and $millions will be jeopardised if the 90-day cap is imposed. We then might have the problem of renters getting nine-month leases as house owners put the rent up for the holidays. Let’s hope not.