“How many backpackers can fit into a granny flat?” That’s the question asked in Byron’s Echo Net Daily today. A letter from Byron Resident June McCormack makes for distressing reading. If you think this situation doesn’t apply to you…don’t! All it takes is for one of your neighbours to flip their residential property onto a short-term rental platform or toss the keys to a real estate agent who’s happy to be complicit in this use of residential housing for commercial purposes. And hey, your home life will probably disintegrate into a living Hell quicker than your can gather your children indoors.
Thanks to Inside Airbnb’s Murray Cox, we can advise that Airbnb listings in the Byron Shire have increased dramatically in the last 18 months despite all our combined reporting. See photo. Airbnb’s ‘Whole Dwellings’ are up from 62.4% to 75.9% of total listings. And consider: Airbnb’s commercial landlords will also list bedrooms separately in a property – rather than as a whole dwelling. This just pumps up their returns even more.
Remember too, Airbnb is just one of many short-term rental operators; their numbers are growing rapidly and Social Media is full of their chatter.
And when exactly was the last time Byron Council took action on any of the illegal holiday properties in their Shire? Given that there continues to be such a dramatic increase in numbers, best you ask the Councillors who are collecting wages from Byron Shire’s residential and commercial ratepayers. And the City of Sydney and others are no different.
Later this week, when NSW Government Ministers and their Staff look at responses to their 'Options Paper' on short-term rentals in NSW – note that there is rarely, if ever, mention of ‘the short-term rental of homes’ - will they scrutinise and consider the excellent legislation and case law we have in place, which is never enforced? And will they consider the rights of residents in need of housing, the quality of their home lives, plus the rights of legitimate commercial accommodation providers?
One still has until tomorrow to lodge a Response to Parliament: STHL@planning.nsw.gov.au Email details of your Titles on residential and/or commercial property and ask Ministers Anthony Roberts and Matt Kean to please respect your rights.
Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits Neighbours not Strangers