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Australian Short-Term Rental Accommodation (ASTRA) chairman Rob Jeffress has 445 homes listed on Airbnb. In an undated Media Release, sent last Thursday, Jeffress again argues that he and short-term rental landlords are “Australian mum and dads and small business owners that are too small to get benefits…These everyday Australians rely solely on the income to stay afloat, for many rental is a primary source of their income”. Rob, put your homes on the rental marked – tenants need housing!

From the latest Byron Shire Council media release:

“Note with great concern and disappointment the recent promotion of Byron Shire as an attractive place to ‘self isolate’ by Airbnb and other STHL properties and seek the support from Air BnB and Stayz and other platforms to remove this promotional messaging.

That this concern also be conveyed to the Federal and NSW Ministers of Tourism.”

The Echo Netdaily: Byron Council is calling for a ban on long-distance bus services into the Shire as scores of people flock in from the city in response to the COVID-19 crisis. “The idea that you could sit on a bus for 20 hours with a bunch of other people at this time just strikes me as complete idiocy.” The Council expressed grave concern and disappointment that the Byron Shire had been promoted as an attractive place to ‘self isolate’ by AirBnB and other short-term holiday letting properties.

In the US, Brooklyn Lawmakers are calling for a ban on Airbnb: “Without any of the stringent cleaning standards and protocols that traditional hotels follow, the ability of short-term rentals to continue to operate under the radar presents a real threat to our city.”

The Australian is promoting a ‘single Mosman mum and Airbnb super host who “is offering her palatial Sydney family home as a luxury pop up for self isolators, with optional extras”. The Sydney Morning Herald and Domain continue to promote Airbnb corporates: “Enterprising landlords turn empty properties into quarantine accommodation”. Angela has 32 homes listed on Airbnb.

Should Government be bailing out illegal short-term rentals?

The US$31 billion Airbnb has halted all marketing as losses mount. Media is running Airbnb’s ‘First Responders, Free to Emergency Workers’ blog. Data from Inside Airbnb reports that 91% of ‘hosts’ who have signed up to provide housing under the scheme are doing so expecting to get paid by these first responders; “…only 45 homes are signed up so far to be free to emergency workers.” Airbnb has already reported, and according to Murray Cox, data from Inside Airbnb corroborates it, most of Airbnb’s 7 million listings are still available short-term to tourists. Airbnb’s goal, still, is to maximise profits rather than placing homes back onto the rental market.

Let there be only one victim of this pandemic please – illegal short-term rentals.


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