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HAVE AIRBNB RENTAL…TONIGHT WE’RE GONNA PARTY LIKE IT’S 1999


Following a string of deaths, shootings, rapes and other serious crimes, Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky recently lamented: All of a sudden it was like a Twitter mob. And there was a hashtag, #RIPAirbnb. All of a sudden I just could not get this out of the cycle.” So, Airbnb would immediately introduce a ban on ‘party houses’, verify its 7 million listings plus use social media to establish the identity of all platform users. Trouble is, everyone from the Kremlin down knows only too well that social media services are full of fake accounts that can be and are manipulated for criminal purpose. Six member of the US Congress have written to Airbnb’s Brian Chesky, requesting a meeting within the next two weeks to answer a list of questions. A similar letter requesting urgent action will be sent to NSW Ministers responsible for Planning and Consumers’ affairs.

And this New Years Eve, social media still promises Airbnb parties; free pills and strippers included, but BYO weed (see photo.)

A journalist from The Australian has been in touch with Airbnb landlords via social media, wanting to know about the impact of the bushfires on short-term rentals on the south coast of NSW. Neighbours Not Strangers volunteered contact details for NSW Fire & Rescue staff and provided a report submitted to Parliament by the Tasmanian Fire Service. One awaits The Australian’s article.

Airbnb recently ran Safety Roadshows. Airbnb ‘host’ Guest Management Sydney (41 listings) posted video footage of the event on Facebook. After we shared the video they immediately removed the post. One participant asked what one should do when a ‘guest’ tries to burn down a house. The response from Airbnb’s expert was: Make certain that a good quality cookbook is on hand.

One now discovers that, back on 11 December, NSW Fair Trading quietly posted on the Internet new short-term holiday letting regulations. Much was made of a mandatory Code of Conduct. Supposedly, independent and impartial adjudicators approved by the Commissioner for Fair Trading will assess complaints and all will be funded by (the short-term rental) industry. Fair Trading’s Code of Conduct for short-term rentals would appear to be in contempt of NSW Land and Environment Court case law: “Can any measures be taken to address amenity impacts? For the reasons (given)…I do not accept that a management plan will provide an effective means of addressing potential amenity impacts that may occur on the site.”

The Byron Bay Shire has the highest number of Airbnb rentals per head of population in the world - worse than Paris, Rome, London, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Venice, Sydney, Melbourne etc. At 2:00 am this morning some Byron Bay residents were still being kept awake by drunken youths in the backyard of an adjoining holiday let and wondering how long their call to the Noisy Neighbours Security outfit would take to stop the ruckus. When purchasing residential housing, Byron residents relied on Section 149 certificates issued by Council. Will Byron Council uphold the terms of these legal documents or will they be retrospectively rendered fraudulent?

For those whose homes are located within shouting distance of a short-term rental, we hope that your New Year is safe and peaceful.

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