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NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts will soon sweep aside Residential Title Deed holders’ proprietary rights and Residential Zoning in order to facilitate the commercial penetration of homes by Airbnb, Expedia, Wotif etc.

There is talk of ‘caps’ on some homes controlled by investors – the number of nights a property can be let commercially for tourist/visitor purposes - yet this apparently won’t stop a tenant of said investment property or one claiming a property as a ‘principle place of residence’ of year-round commercial activity.

NSW Labor MP Jodi McKay’s undeclared short-term rental activity gives an example of how to spread bookings over multiple platforms - 75 booking platforms at present count - so that the total number of nights booked could prove uncountable and thus a ‘cap’ of any sort unenforceable. Ms McKay could also consult with National Party trailblazers Thomas George and Kevin Humphries amongst others; prior to Land and Environment Court Orders, their agent “properly managed” their apartments across 150+ short-term rental platforms. In a written statement to the ABC last month Thomas George wrote (we kid you not): “I have never used AirBnb or any other online platform.” And then there were up to 49% discounts offered to Liberians travelling to Sydney during their Ebola outbreak to stay at Messrs George and Humphries’ apartments…

Which City of Sydney Councillor’s home featured as a ‘fake’ Airbnb listing at $2,575/night and why didn’t this Councillor ‘go public’? And on Facebook, Airbnb hosts’ pages privately offer advice on such things as circumventing nightly caps, removal of bad reviews and money laundering. ACCC where are you?

In a recent meeting with the Hon Natalie Ward LLB MLC on the topic of Residential Zoning and Illegal Short-Term Rentals, Ms Ward stated that it was unrealistic to expect any legislation to be enforced and that it simply wasn’t true that small business owners who run accredited accommodation operations were suffering due to the intrusion of some 215,964* unlicensed, unregulated holiday rental homes across our State. (*2014 estimate.)

We already have legislation and a long line of case law in place, with our Courts ready to uphold the rights of NSW taxpayers who have purchased Residential homes. Yet Legislators are steadfastly refusing to act in our interests and in step with contemporaries in cities and local government areas the world over who are pushing back against the ‘Airbnb contagion’. Premier and Ministers will not acknowledge let alone address any of the issues put to them. And NSW State MPs’ non-disclosure of ‘Conflicts of Interest’ and connections with the Short-Term Rental Industry… It’s not good enough. It’s just not good enough.

Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits

Neighbours not Strangers

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