ROD SIMMS (ACCC) WE NEED YOU - Airbnb Leaves Aussies 'Up-the-Creek'
For a good eight weeks, Airbnb has been sitting on a little secret - it has been failing in its contractual agreement to pay its ‘hosts’ monies due to them. Back in September, Forbes Magazine broke the story. Airbnb’s Australian “distributors/partners” have been complaining bitterly via Facebook postings, and word has finally leaked here in Australia: Travel Weekly reporting that Airbnb’s glitch has prevented some 23,000 Aussie ‘hosts’ from getting paid.
There is an ever-growing number of serious criminal incidents related to Airbnb: rape/murder/’accidental’ deaths/assaults on Police and Neighbours/widespread property damage; this hits the Media. Yet constant, unsupportable day-to-day anti-social conditions are forced upon those in Strata and Residential Zones and this is by-and-large unacknowledged.
A new Report details how Airbnb is removing housing from the rental market in some Sydney/Melbourne suburbs – see ABC. Airbnb disputes the Report, calling it “wrong” and “unrepresentative”…”It is wrong and unfair to malign the working and middle class families who rely on home sharing…” Prior to its silencing by Twitter/Airbnb, #SISTRO found extremely high numbers of residential properties set aside for tourists/visitors in many areas across NSW, including but by no way limited to the South Coast, North Coast, Snowy Mountains region, Blue Mountains, Orange, etc
The Newcastle Herald is reporting on “drug use, prostitutes and late-night partying…(affecting) residents living next door to Airbnb houses”. Newcastle City Council is seeking to ‘limit’ this activity to 180 nights per year. Under Council’s plan Residents will need only withstand this penetration of their residential buildings/suburbs every weekend and during school holidays. The NSW Land and Environment Court says of this:
“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 neighbours, is), as the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates, severe.”
Sydney’s Inner-West Council is proposing an identical scenario for those who’ve purchased or rent housing in their area – 180 days every year of what many describe as a “living hell”. The Agenda for the Inner-West Council meeting on Tuesday, 13 November, can be found here. To speak at the meeting one needs to register by 2pm on the day.
Of serious concern – details passed yesterday to Rod Sims (ACCC) and Mark Speakman MP (NSW Attorney General) – Airbnb has ‘updated’ their “Payments Terms of Service” – all Australians using the Airbnb platform must sign and accept conditions that specify “an arbitration clause and class action waiver that applies to all Airbnb Members”:
“Please read these Payments Terms of Service carefully as they contain important information about your legal rights, remedies and obligations. By using the Payment Services, you agree to comply with and be bound by these Payments Terms of Service.
Please note: Section 22 of these Payments Terms of Service contains an arbitration clause and class action waiver that applies to all Airbnb Members. If your Country of Residence (as defined below) is the United States, this provision applies to all disputes with Airbnb Payments. If your Country of Residence is outside of the United States, this provision applies to any action you bring against Airbnb Payments in the United States. It affects how disputes with Airbnb Payments are resolved. By accepting these Payments Terms of Service, you agree to be bound by this arbitration clause and class action waiver. Please read it carefully.”
Non-authorised, non-accredited Airbnb-type rentals: their ‘hosts’ seem to hate Airbnb…so why risk it?
Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits
Neighbours not Strangers