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AIRBNB CLIENT NAKED IN BED WITH LANDLORD’S 7-YEAR OLD DAUGHTER

Yes, this news item has gone viral on our Facebook page. More than 40,000 views so far. The BBC is reporting on the alleged sexual assault of the ‘Host’s’ young daughter and subsequent arrest. In the same news article is a video report – another BBC investigation - that reveals how Airbnb accounts are hijacked, resulting in burglaries. It’s the Airbnb community, where we are assured that ‘expectations are built on trust’. An advertisement for Qantas – the first airline in the world to partner with Airbnb – pops up along with the news report of this assault of a minor. Does anyone, anywhere want a short-term rental next to their home or in their street? Back on 09 May 2017 we wrote to Bre

ONE WEDDING - TWO GUESTS

A splendid wedding in Sydney last Saturday saw two guests wait until the last of those gathered were leaving before smiling and finally acknowledging the other. Each had been well aware of the other’s presence throughout, though this special evening was simply not the occasion to be spoilt with talk of the grubby dealings to which both have borne witness elsewhere. With the broadest of smiles, and by way of greeting/farewell, the first guest said: “I’ve simply two words: ‘Rachel’ and ‘Abrogation’.” Her interlocutor laughed and nodded. The message, or gift: clear and well received. With a little over a month before submissions to the ‘Options Paper’ on short-term letting close, a push of

THE ANSWER APPEARS TO LIE IN THE REALM OF THE ‘NEVER NEVER’

Back in June we wrote to the Mayor of Randwick Council, bringing to his attention a particular residential building in Arden Street Coogee, which enjoys good access to the public transport that commuters/shift workers, students etc rely on. One tenant remained; all other apartments in the building were rented through short-term rental platforms with Airbnb championing the ‘clean out’. Most of the apartments in said building – many of them studios - were being advertised at upwards of $150/night, or $1,050+ per week. The last remaining tenant described the situation as that of living in “an unlicensed hotel with no centralised management team” and asked, “is there any clearer example that A

IS THE ‘CASH FOR COMMENT’ COW BACK?

It’s proving difficult to keep up with the stream of stories Fairfax Media is pumping out on short-term rentals via Gumtree, Expedia/Stayz and Airbnb. What is noticeable though, by its omission, is mention of a fire at an Airbnb holiday rental from which 10 travellers narrowly escaped. Meanwhile, the Airbnb listings we mentioned some days ago in the Bennelong Point property in which Alan Jones lives have disappeared. Oh to be so fortunate! The ‘friendly buildings program’ where neighbours can seek help from Airbnb might just be working for MrJones and fellow residents. With all this lovely free publicity about, we though it best to balance up matters a little and tell you of Websites and

IS ANYONE MUCKING OUT THE STABLES?

A quote yesterday of the loss of 6,000 properties worsening Sydney’s housing crisis grossly understates the extent of this issue, with the NSW Parliament quoting 216,000 homes lost across the State (2014 figure) to holiday rentals. The article’s author – strata lawyer and spokesperson for the Owners Corporation Network (OCN) - having presented the hellish scenario of living with the ‘Airbnb Contagion’, goes on to recommend to Government that owners within a strata scheme should now be given a choice of whether or not to retrospectively alter the Development Determination on a building...to 'hook' every strata community into a battle over short-term rentals. Mind you, this wasn’t the position

THE SCHIZOPHRENIC NATURE OF SHORT-TERM RENTALS

A week ago fire ripped through and gutted a Christchurch Airbnb - not one mention in our Media. Reports though of I fell in love through Airbnb and then Short-Term Landlord sex offender. Airbnb still argues that their landlords ‘can’t be robbed of their right to respectfully share their homes’, with billions in profits going to Airbnb of course. And if you have purchased into a residential strata or a residential suburb and have never lived next door to a short-term rental, talk your neighbours into renting short-term. Very soon you’ll stop worrying about their ‘rights’ and begin to wonder what the hell happened to yours. Mixing short-term rentals with permanent residents is “fundamentall

"Fair Home Sharing=Self-Serving, American Corporate Bullshit"

This week on The Block, contestants were told: “You are going to transform that house into a 5-Star ‘Stayz-worthy’ place, a holiday house that any traveller would be happy to stay in.” Some paint, new furniture, some bed linen - and they’re done. Not a single upgrade to infrastructure. Just “cheeses (sic), wine and tennis racquets” and “experiences for the families”. Next location, and reportedly with “special dispensation from the body corporate”, everyone got frantically to work on their assigned task. Some Tasmanian cities and local government areas are now attempting to rein in the explosion in Airbnb and Stayz listings. Brent Thomas and Sam McDonagh were out in force in Launceston

LORDIE, WHAT DO WE SEE? IT'S IN NO WAY PLEASANT.

The PR Brigade – and we are NOT referring to Public Responsibility - over at Airbnb have pressed the ‘PANIC’ button and are offering “free smoke-alarms to the first 36,000 hosts” – ‘hosts’ - who apply on a first-come-first-served basis. This follows a fire in a Christchurch Airbnb rental three days ago that saw six out of a family of 10 Malaysian travellers hospitalised when fire gutted the property in which they were staying. Not only are Airbnb, Expedia/Stayz and Clones having a profound effect on the availability of housing in key areas of our State, they are causing extreme stress and cost to tenants who find themselves evicted to ‘make way’, and neighbours forced to live with the traum

SYDNEY’S LORD MAYOR: “SHOCKING CONDITIONS AND FIRE RISK.”

The City of Sydney continues to sign off on Determination of Development Applications that absolutely prohibit short-term rentals in Residential Class 2 developments, though Council released last week an April 2017 ‘survey’ reporting to be in search of ‘a balance’ on short-term letting - some involved in studying it describe it as “economically difficult…with a fundamental error in the design apparent”. Given yesterday’s fire in a Christchurch Airbnb rental that saw six occupants taken to hospital, one must remember how close Sydney came in July 2014 when Containers of Shame housing young travellers at Alexandria burst into flames. At the time, journalist Jimmy Thomson wrote: “…residents o

OUT THEY COME - THEY’RE SWINGING HARDER

In the Game of Mates for the control of our homes, Expedia/Stayz have deployed another former Liberal, Minister for Tourism and International Education Richard Colbeck. Clutching firmly a ReachTEL survey commissioned and paid for of course by Stayz, Colbeck is claiming “grassroots” status, while acknowledging 40,000 homes and omitting the fact that Expedia Inc is Washington-based and has assets of some US$15.8 billion. The Australian picked up the story (23 and 31 August), and so too the Herald and Illawarra Mercury. Usual arguments: Strata v Illawara/Hunter Region, Regions should be exempt... Will Expedia/Stayz, Airbnb and others disclose their total campaign spend? Meanwhile, down Bomade

HOW MUCH INFLUENCE DOES AIRBNB BUY WITH A MERE $100,000?

Why won’t Australian representative Brent Thomas discuss Airbnb ‘purchasing power’ here in NSW when he is repeatedly given the privilege of interviews with those in the Media? Yesterday in San Francisco, The Examiner was reporting on one ‘Airbnb sweetener’ that for $100,000 bought the support of the City’s merchants. San Francisco’s Tenants Union was straight onto this. Meanwhile, spokespersons for the NSW Tenants’ Union support the idea of tenants sub-letting via Airbnb. When asked back in June if the Union was across all areas of legislation and whether any of their employees were profiting from short-term letting, there was no response. Their Tenant Union’s Report appears to be in star

IS IT 'OPEN or SHUT' - WHO GIVES and WHO GETS A GIPA?

Reportedly one of City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s many major accomplishments during her years as a State MP was the introduction of legislation seeing changes to Freedom of Information requirements. And it is thanks to Clover Moore that the Act continues as part of the NSW GIPA Act. In the last known instance of the City of Sydney undertaking action in the NSW Land and Environment Court (LEC), to enforce Zoning Legislation against short-term tourist/visitor rentals, a City of Sydney representative advised that Council had engaged a Senior Counsel to put together their case - the importance of the LEC’s judgement would undoubtedly be a benchmark in the City’s fight against the rampa

SYDNEY POWER CHICKS TAKE UP CHARITY WORK FOR AIRBNB While NSW Residents Can “Go Suck a Lemon”

Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron sat G-Row centre last night for The Onion Live – Real Fake News. Pre-show Herron stood and spun this way and that, welcoming well-connected guests, while on screen joint sponsors Airbnb’s glossy promo for marriage equality played. Meanwhile, the international press is saturated with articles about Gay Couples discriminated against on Airbnb. Today’s SMH tells of a City of Sydney survey – who/when/where/who paid - claiming “inner-city residents largely in favour of short-term letting like Airbnb”. The findings are a “relief” for those like premium wealth management banker Alice Hidajat who rents her Potts Point studio through Airbnb to help fund her holi

© 2016 by NEIGBOURS NOT STRANGERS:  Residential Housing is for Housing Residents - Homes Not Hotels - Communities Not Transit Zones - People Before Profits

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