SHORT-TERM RENTALS - WHO'S CALLING THE SHOTS ON OUR HOMES?
NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matthew Kean writes that in 2016 an estimated 215,964 homes across our State were operating as holiday rental premises. Zero 2018 data is available from the Minister.
Shoalhaven City Council’s Strategic Planning Manager told a Parliamentary Inquiry into short-term rentals:
“If you look at places like Hyams Beach, Callala and further south, they can have anywhere up to 70 to 80 per cent of their dwellings vacant during winter. That gives you an indication that they are holiday homes of some description…We do not want to regulate the 4,000-plus holiday homes.”
Indeed, following the landmark NSW Land and Environment Court (LEC) judgment – Dobrohotoff v Bennic– and despite the clear and emphatic determination of the LEC that the impacts on the well-being of neighbours of properties rented short-term are “severe”, Shoalhaven and 10 more NSW Councils altered their Local Environmental Plans to permit short-term tourist/visitor rentals across zones designated as Residential. It seems no warnings were issued and no financial compensation was paid to Rate Payers.
Airbnb’s record is one of non-compliance the world over. AndAirbnb, ever present at NSW Government meetings and discussions, has said that a Code of Conduct could be supported however they will not be party to any such Code. If you were wondering who Minister Matt Kean has invited to stitch together a Code of Conduct that Parliament says will eliminate all issues created by turning an unlimited number of NSW homes into unregulated hotels, here is the list. The largest commercial operators and controllers of property dominate it:
Accommodation Association of Australia
Australian Federation of Travel Agents
Department of Finance, Services and Innovation
Department of Premier and Cabinet
Estate Agents’ Co-operative
Hire and Rental Industry Association*
* aka Holiday Rental Industry Association
Local Government NSW
Owners Corporation Network
Property Council of Australia
Property Owners Association NSW
Real Estate Institute NSW
Restaurant and Catering Industry Association
Strata Community Australia
Tenants’ Union of NSW
Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits
Neighbours not Strangers