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In recent months, due of course to COVID-19, things have slowed a little for short-term rental operators. ASTRA Chair Rob Jeffres still appears to have some 430+ homes listed as holiday rentals, so business can’t be too bad. Jeffres told Travel Trends this week that he welcomes a new ‘Code of Conduct’ for the short-term rental industry in NSW. Of course, this Code supersedes the Code adopted in May 2012, which has seen no enforcement measures and zero penalties applied. Jeffres refers back to the 2015/16 Parliamentary Inquiry and appears relieved that short-term rentals may soon be determined as a permissible use of residential property. Meaning of course, that the business of short-term rentals is still unlawful.

Expedia (Stayz) spokesperson Eacham Curry welcomes this new Code and is calling for a register of short-term rental properties, noting: “It is next to impossible to enforce compliance with the new rules for holiday rentals. Stayz will do its best to assist the holiday homeowners who list on its platform to be compliant with the new rule book. However, not all rental platforms are as diligent as us, and there is a real risk that other platforms with no physical presence in Australia will thumb their noses at the new rules.” Very true, given that Stayz short-term rental operators in the main are, and continue to be, non-compliant with all levels of Government legislation. And State Opposition Leader Jodi McKay’s short-term rental in Gloucester is listed on dozens of foreign booking platforms. No chance that her contacts in Turkey and Russia, to name but a couple, will bother with tracking and penalising disruptive clients.

Dan Barker, Cofounder and Director of Complete Host (currently 63 Airbnb listings) reports that he now has “a squatter in our apartment and have been banned from entering our own apartment. Even though our agreement has been checked by a lawyer as having the nature of a licence and not a lease, VCAT decided based on the evidence of guest alone (we were not even asked or spoken to), that we have entered into a lease and in fact the security deposit needed to be lodged with the RTBA. This is costing us a fortune. The piece of scum in our apartment knows exactly what they are doing and have engineered a free stay indefinitely…”

Our NSW Land and Environment Court has repeatedly and consistently judged that mixing short-term rentals with permanent residents is fundamentally incompatible:

There is a difference in living and activity patterns and behaviour of short and long-term residents. Short-term residents have no long-term interest in the maintenance of the amenity within the building or the surrounding area…The impact on the amenity and wellbeing of the (Residents) has been, as the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates, severe.”

Awaited still is the NSW Planning Minister’s response to submissions made a propos plans to grant an unknown number of local plus offshore booking platforms unrestricted access to residential buildings and communities. All readers best hope that they don’t find their home surrounded by short-term rental properties, now and into the foreseeable future.

Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits Neighbours not Strangers


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