Airbnb: 'Aiding and Abetting' On a Massive Scale

 

Homes in Mark Coure MP's Electorate of Oatley.  

Short-Term Lets Pit Neighbour Against Neighbour

 

As of September 2016 there were 128 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in New South Wales. Only three of these had deliberately altered their Local Environmental Plans to facilitate the short-term letting of Residential Housing.  In the remaining 125 NSW LGAs, short-term letting of Residential Housing would be classified “Illegal”.  Knowing this to be the standard interpretation of Planning/Zoning Legislation, Airbnb disguises the exact location of all listings – their maps never accurately reflect the true location of any property – and requires all landlords to ‘tick a box’, confirming “that they have all rights to list their accommodation”, which means that Airbnb absolves itself of the responsibility of meeting Planning Legislation. 

 

Airbnb’s Australian representatives are fully aware of our State’s Planning Laws. It has been put directly to Brent Thomas, Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy, Australia and New Zealand that, save for listings in the Shoalhaven, Gosford and Kiama Shires, he must be fully cognisant of the fact that Airbnb’s 41,000 homes, where Tourists/Visitors have replaced Residents, involves “Illegal” operations on a massive scale. This includes Mr Thomas’ renting of his family home when he is away on holiday. A solicitor, former NSW Government Ministerial Chief of Staff and Hurstville Labor Councillor, Thomas can be in no doubt of the terms of his Local Environmental Plan. His State MP is Mark Coure. Coure has recommended to Parliament that this abuse of our Planning/Zoning Legislation be deemed ‘complying’. 

 

NSW Consumer and Administrative Tribunal Adjudicator David Charles: “It is crystal clear that, where there are those occupying premises under short-term tourist or visitor accommodation agreements, the Residential Tenancies Act does not apply”.

 

Waverley Council’s Senior Strategic Planner told a Sydney University forum last week that he uses Airbnb extensively while holidaying.  Waverley Council: some 4,087 Airbnb listings / 475 homes available to tenants – likely the worst record for any LGA in NSW.  Their action on this breach of their Planning/Zoning Legislation = Nil.

 

The Hon. Justice Rachel Pepper of the NSW Land and Environment Court(The Respondent) readily agreed that she could not guarantee compliance with the House Rules or the Code of Conduct.…the harm caused to the environment is not limited to the undermining of the planning regime.  The adverse impact on the amenity and wellbeing of the (Residents) has been, as the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates, severe.  By leaving it to the Court to determine this important issue, the council, by its inaction, has, in my opinion, failed to fulfill its core functions and has failed its constituents.” 

 

Airbnb: complicit in ‘aiding and abetting’ on a massive scale. 

Airbnb now has 41,000 NSW homes.  Thousands more homes lost via hundreds of other platforms.

Town Planners from Albury to Yass Valley know the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.

NSW Local Government Authorities are failing in their fiduciary duties by ignoring Airbnb/Expedia et al.

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