This week on The Block, contestants were told: “You are going to transform that house into a 5-Star ‘Stayz-worthy’ place, a holiday house that any traveller would be happy to stay in.” Some paint, new furniture, some bed linen - and they’re done. Not a single upgrade to infrastructure. Just “cheeses (sic), wine and tennis racquets” and “experiences for the families”. Next location, and reportedly with “special dispensation from the body corporate”, everyone got frantically to work on their assigned task.
Some Tasmanian cities and local government areas are now attempting to rein in the explosion in Airbnb and Stayz listings. Brent Thomas and Sam McDonagh were out in force in Launceston this week, claiming: “any restrictions could hurt the local tourism industry and put jobs at risk…the average amount earned is $7,000…average nights rented per year 39…respectfully sharing…”
Meanwhile, Social Media is full of sites catering to Airbnb landlords needing advice on how to avoid detection by neighbours, suggesting tools for price gouging over peak periods, facilitating access to keys/fobs, contracting sub-agents, establishing the number of ‘guests’ from afar by way of monitoring the number of mobile devices present in any premises, plus such pearls as recommending that one rent multiple properties in popular Sydney suburbs only – map above on right of photo – then subletting them across numerous platforms, rather than risk investing in just one particular property.
Pray, there’s also advice on which Insurers to avoid, with Sydney’s second largest Airbnb landlord complaining of a particular well-known Insurance Company: “I’ve tried to make a few claims and they don’t pay out – they make you jump through so many hoops it’s not worth it!” “And don’t forget you can rent out a caravan, or a farm barn…when you list it there is even a special filter for such places.”
Really, one must list across platforms to ensure occupancy rates “over 85% annually…don’t worry about Council crackdowns on illegal rentals: a lot of hot air – they won’t touch it”. Plus direct advice to Airbnb from their landlords: “Stop using the phrase ‘fair home sharing rules’…in certain quarters it’s like a red rag to a bull – astroturfing, self-serving, American corporate truthspeak bullshit”. Then there’s the claim of “blackmail – thousands of dollars…can Fair Trading help?” Difficult, when it’s an illegal rental that has resulted in said blackmail.
Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits Neighbours not Strangers