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Colin Hussey, CEO of ‘A Perfect Stay’, has told the Northern Star that his company has close to 300 (Airbnb) properties from Melbourne to Brisbane with 150 of them in the Byron Bay and Lennox Head areas”. After years of operating in residential areas, Hussey says, “…there seemed to be an anti-tourist feeling within the community”. Hussey is asking that the ‘humanitarian side’ of his business be considered; claims of stranded foreign internationals being the justification for his call.

Airbnb has launched a new campaign that will still reap 15% of total costs from any booking. Its ‘Longer Term Monthly Stays’ still fail the requirement of using housing to house residents. And the platform will continue to enable commercial operators to evade National Construction Codes and Residential Zoning, while offering pricey furnished apartments and homes for those who want a ‘longer’ stay tourist/visitor rental. One Sydney Airbnb Host has warned his cohort:

“U (sic) must use holiday rental agreement(s.) Do not ever use tenancy agreement(s)

as they will be regarded as a tenant with rights…never use the word tenant

in (the) agreement, just guest…”

The NSW Residential Tenancy Act clearly sets out Premises to which the Act does not apply and Agreements to which the Act does not apply. Licensed NSW Real Estate Agents functioning under the NSW Property and Stock Agents Act know that when used to access a residential dwelling, Airbnb/Stayz agreements are not a residential tenancy and do not provide the protections afforded to tenants in our State.

“Nelson Bay real estate agent sets the record straight on holiday bookings” in an article, published yesterday in the Port Stephens Examiner. Raine & Horne’s website takes one to The Bay Holiday Properties, where currently 42 homes are listed as holiday rentals. Nearby Bill Knaggs Real Estate has a further 80 homes listed on Airbnb.

Multiple Airbnb operators are swapping details of clients booking ‘longer’ stays - sometimes repeat bookings, with 5 star reviews posted afterwards – however clients are not accessing the properties and homes are left untouched. The ‘host’ is offered 15% of the payment, with the remainder of the payment “returned to Ireland through Western Union”.

In the midst of a global pandemic, Tourism Accommodation Australia advises that up to 300 Australian hotels have now closed, while short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb, Expedia, Stayz etc continue to present as Petri dishes for those circumventing all manner of regulations, neighbouring residents’ proprietary rights and the rights of tenants seeking safe, secure, affordable housing. It’s well past time that all illegal short-term rentals were banned.

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