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MEDIA RELEASE

Yesterday’s Australian Financial Review asked a question we have been posing for a long time: how much money are Airbnb and Expedia/(Stayz) throwing at winning legislative access to our homes? In our Response to the NSW Parliament’s ‘Options Paper’ on short-term rentals we named Airbnb’s most prolific operators around Sydney and Byron Bay; they advertise and control literally hundreds and hundreds of homes. Soon after came Media reports of Airbnb’s “blunt message to NSW legislators”, that the company’s business model is here to stay. Consider: Sydney’s top landlords made between $2 and $5.3 million in the year to October 2017. Byron’s top ‘Mum&Dad’ operator earned $3.7 million. In the fina

A BUSY WEEK FOR THE AIRBNB CREW

The kind folks at AirbnbAus have chaperoned their US$3.8 billion boss Joe Gebbia around all week. The tail end of the week sees all these Media reports of pensioners in Perth running unregulated home hotels, astronomical Airbnb growth in regional areas of Queensland etc, while the reverse sees Councillors in Amsterdam (not here) wanting to ban Airbnb. After Airbnb’s blitzkrieg of Sydney press it was off to Melbourne, where the plan is to turn residential homes and apartments into venues for every kind. Imagine: a ‘concert house’ with how many attendees playing board games while being swooned by soft R&B, soul and rock ‘n roll…or a restaurant, or a bar next door. Some in Melbourne are very

THE MINISTER AND HIS SHADOW

Airbnb's Joe Gebbia & Sam McDonagh surrounded by devoted staff - Brent Thomas hasn’t touched his meal In the NSW State Parliament this morning MPs lined up to speak to a new Bill which passed the House. Independents, Greens, Labor…shadow Minister Yasmin Catley spoke passionately, bringing with her letters of support from 25 key stakeholders including Construction and Strata bodies. Up stepped Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matt Kean, who emphasised penalties, giving councils more powers to enforce safety issues, of working with Fire and Rescue NSW and their fire response plans, and of a task force. Minister Kean stressed: “NSW has some of the toughest fire safety standards

WE’RE JUST ASKING…

Let’s say a gaggle of blokes including the Deputy Premier, other State MPs and a top Lawyer and Mosman’s Deputy Mayor all double parked their cars outside their offices, would they be fined? Yet when they’re involved in Airbnb-type rentals earning big, big dollars, there are no fines issued – right? When the City of Sydney Council is provided with details of someone who is operating 30 Airbnb’s, they instead send three inspectors to scrutinise the operations of a licensed, regulated Bed & Breakfast operator who notified Council of illegal Airbnb operators in the area. And this is because all Councils across NSW are under staffed and can’t begin to enforce Zoning legislation - correct? And

THE TAILS OF TWO CITIES

In response to a social media account naming and shaming Real Estate Agents who appear to be breaching industry regulations, the Real Estate Board is encouraging the public to contact authorities. Inspired by the Airbnb-fighting Twitter user @VISTRO11, @BrettdrC has been outing Real Estate Agents who are running Airbnb-hotels in breach of City Zoning regulations, pointing to the Real Estate Agents Rules of Conduct: Knowledge of Act and Regulations, Fiduciary obligations, Honesty, fairness and professionalism etc. (NSW Fair Trading) And so successful have @Miteymiss, @Fairbnbcanada, @VISTRO11, @BrettdrC and others been that this week tough new legislation against Airbnb is being introduced.

THOUSANDS OF NSW LOW-INCOME RESIDENTS & STUDENTS FACE EVICTION UNDER CITY OF SYDNEY RECOMMENDATI

Recommendations made by the City of Sydney Council in their Response to the NSW Parliament’s ‘Options Paper’ would appear to be full of regulatory loopholes and, if adopted, could see thousands of low-income residents and students face eviction across our State. The City of Sydney however, writes that their proposal “enables short-term letting to deliver positive social and economic benefits with minimal regulatory costs”. It is stated that metropolitan and regional areas should operate under different systems, as assumptions are made as to what is “likely to occur” outside the Sydney metropolitan area. Criteria for short-term tourist/visitor letting of residential housing as exempt develop

AIRBNB - YOU CAN'T KNOCK THEM OFF WITH A STICK

Channel 7 personality, David Koch, recently shared ‘tips’ on how to save money while on holidays. Considering the damage suffered to his property during his tenancy in a Sydney building overrun with short-term rentals, many wondered where such support for Airbnb and Expedia(Stayz) was coming from. Ohhh Channel 7’s Instant Hotels! And to this week’s episode with Mother/Daughter Babe and Bondi Scott and their four apartments at 125 Hall Street, Bondi – a Class 2 (Building Codes of Australia) residential flat building. Waverley Council, overrun with short-term rentals, has documentation on file which states that Babe and Bondi’s flats “will comply with appropriate Australian Standards and th

FOLKS, THIS IS WHAT PENETRATION LOOKS LIKE - SOME CALL IT "HELL"

Like others around the globe – “Airbnb, just follow the law and shut up” - and unimpressed with the ”attack on Queenstown’s Council”, friends across the Tasman have sent us video of their attempts to deal with Airbnb and Brent Thomas. Remember, Thomas claims a degree in Law, is a former NSW State Labor Minister staffer and Hurstville Councillor; he knows how legislation works. Waverley Council, with 4,544 homes lost, is second only to the City of Sydney as Airbnb’s ‘most penetrated’ Council. Woollahra Council is pipped only by Manly and Warringah Councils in terms of Airbnb numbers. Waverley Mayor John Wakefield told the Wentworth Courier (08 November): “We know anecdotally it’s pushing up

IF IT WEREN'T SERIOUS...YOU WOULDN'T HEAR 'BOO' FROM US

“Gold Coast vs. Byron Bay for holiday honours - new reality TV series “Instant Hotel” premiered on Channel 7 last night. Byron’s EchoNetDaily (page 2) today reports that their Council Staff have prepared a holiday letting case for prosecution, which they intend to take to the NSW Land and Environment Court. Legal Services Ralph James’ announcement with details of fines can be heard at this audio link (fast forward to 1hour 57 minutes). Thank you Byron! The first NSW Council we’re aware of which is taking decisive action against the illegal use of residential property. Councillors also mention Vancouver’s Twitter campaign - @VISTRO11 – whereby residents are advising Council of Airbnb-typ

CRAM THEM IN - HOMES-BY-THE-HOUR

News of the alleged rape and murder of a Melbourne Airbnb client by his three ‘hosts’ has spread globally; not just across English-speaking regions. Police have reportedly laid charges. Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson recently visited Sydney, spoke at a Town Hall function, and we understand met with housing advocates, all hosted by Clover Moore. With a rental vacancy rate of near zero, Vancouver is being pressed to act on commercial short-term rentals. Despite receiving prior knowledge of Mr Robertson’s visit, our request to meet with him, however so briefly, was declined. Community Activist Groups - Homes Not Hotels – No Airbnb, Fairbnb.ca, @Miteymiss @VISTRO11 @yyjagainststvrs etc – ar

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