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Remember Airbnb landlord Lynn Segal and her claim that the home-sharing website helps her afford to stay in her Newtown terrace? “With few job prospects and a low amount of superannuation, Ms Segal said her finances looked grim when she turned 60. Ms Segal said she did not want to get a housemate on a more permanent basis: "I wouldn't make as much money."

A little bit of scrutiny revealed that Lynn and her unseen Airbnbpartner Craig Crenko in fact had two properties - estimated to be worth $3,113,250.00 - in Newton listed on Airbnb and took holidays in South India, Thailand etc.

We’ve lost count of the number of times Airbnb has paraded ‘hosts’ in front of the Media while a spokesperson claims landlords earn around $4,000 a year; just enough to ‘pay the bills, feed the cat plus put some cash aside for holidays’.

Times have changed. NSW Politicians are set to give Airbnb, Expedia and Co ‘carte blanche’ in terms of access to housing. And expect to see more from the Holiday Rental Industry Association (HRIA); a message dated 25OCT18 says:

“Led by the powerful national hotel and motel lobbies and empowered by group protests from ‘traditional accommodation providers’ in regional areas such as Byron Bay, Margaret River and Rockhampton they (accredited accommodation providers) are pressing for tighter controls, operating limits, additional costs and excessive compliance, claiming our industry is illegetimate (sic) and unfair competition while undermining us over party houses and bad behaviour. Against this background, it is important that the HRIA take a more proactive position in the media and present (sic) our side of the story.”

HIRA makes no mention of the impact their illegal rental practices have on neighbours and residential communities.

Airbnb obviously sees ‘clear sailing’ ahead and is happy for its ‘hosts’ to be more transparent about profits. Well-known Newtown Airbnb operator Jay Novak now happily discloses that she makes $250,000 per year through Airbnb, and by renting out car spaces - many in Strata buildings where such rentals of parking spots and open access to common property would be prohibited. Ms Novak seems confident that Inner-West Council will take no enforcement action against her. We understand the City of Sydney wrote to Ms Novak over her non-approved use of Residential buildings; her public disclosure would suggest that the City of Sydney is also turning a blind eye – and neighbours are powerless to stop her. Ms Novak and daughter appear to be laughing all the way to the bank.

Word from the ABC: long-serving former chief-of-staff and former press secretary to Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman will now lobby for Airbnb while the Tasmanian Government develops policy towards short-term rentals. A US$31-billion organisation is obviously able to ‘purchase’contacts wherever and whenever necessary.

For those who are genuinely struggling? The not-for profit finance sector sees Airbnbas a serious problem for its members who are teaches etc on averages wages. You can read more here.

Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits

Neighbours not Strangers

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