It's what's known in the Hotel Industry as the 'Hot Pillow' Trade
Three days ago we jokingly wrote that if/when the NSW State Government gives the go ahead to Airbnb (USD31 billion) and Expedia (USD15.8 billion) to access our homes to pump up their revenue stream, all accommodation providers the world over will join in the plunder, without any heed to residents' quality of life, tenant evictions and displacements, rising rents and property prices, or the well-considered judgments of the NSW Land and Environment Court that mixing short-term tourist/visitor letting with permanent residents is “fundamentally incompatible”. The Australian Newspaper’s Sam Hutchinson reported yesterday that indeed Tourism Accommodation Australia and Expedia were joining forces to recommend to Parliament how our homes should be regulated.
Following on from this, last night Spencer Kirk, an Airbnb Landlord from Redfern – Spence now has five years’ experience in the game - spoke at a Sydney University Urban Housing Lab roundtable discussion. Spence has 254 reviews. In defence of his “Illegal Use of Premises” (where is the City of Sydney’s enforcement team?) Spence reiterated comments he made recently to the Press: "In this building there are more people in apartments inviting total strangers in from Tinder or Grindr." Tinder and Grindr enjoyed much further free promotion with laughter aplenty as the discussion advanced. Brent Thomas, Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy, Australia and New Zealand, when questioned, underscored the $1 million insurance guarantee available to ‘hosts’/landlords. Spence chimed in, claiming that in his Residential Strata Building everyone was OK with all this; he, a Committee Member, had assured Owners that there would be no problem with insurance in the case of some unforeseen event.
There was no opportunity to ‘fact check’ the insured value of Spence’s Redfern building, the total value of the contents of each of his neighbours’ apartments, the cost for temporary accommodation in the event of a fire or some other major event, possible additional costs from a claim against damage to neighbouring property, plus compensation payments in the event of death/s or permanent incapacity.
If Parliament gifts our homes to Airbnb, Expedia, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Four Seasons, Accor, Best Western, Jin Jiang International, Marriott International, Hilton, Intercontinental…one must not forget Breather, Hubbelhq, Pivotdesk, Copass, Meetingsbooker, Qdesq, Liquidspace, Shareyouroffice, Sharedesk, Desksnear, Desktimeapp, Coworkify, Zipcube, plus the thousands of other Internet platforms in Russia, Liberia, China, the US, UK etc, offering 30-minute bookings in residential homes and buildings – after-use servicing provided.
Users are guaranteed far less monitoring and tracking of their 30-minute slots when choosing to use one of our NSW residential homes/apartments. A ‘lock box’ or some other digital device will enable unmonitored access.
As Deputy Opposition Leader Michael Daley has remarked: “Your veritable lunchtime quickie!”
Meanwhile, no word from any of our NSW Ministers on whether or not we might have an opportunity to voice our objections to the opening of our homes and neighbourhoods to short-term ‘tourist/visitor/sex/drug/terror’ lettings.