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“Fury at reports of Labour leader’s holiday home on Airbnb”…yells the Irish press. “The public have reacted furiously to reports of (the MP’s) holiday home on Airbnb being advertised for short-term letting” …“the biggest scandal to come from that is that, in the middle of a housing crisis, (the MP’s) second home is available for short-term letting on Airbnb”. If only we were able to learn how many of our NSW MPs, aside from John Barilaro and Jodi McKay, have Airbnb rentals.

The NSW Government is introducing a land tax discount for new build-to-rent housing projects and a new Housing Diversity SEPP to provide “more housing options, greater surety for renters, boost construction and support jobs during the COVID-19 recovery”. The State Treasurer has released guidelines for land tax reductions; properties will receive a 50% reduction in land value for land tax purposes and developments will also receive an exemption from foreign investor duty and land tax surcharges (or a refund of surcharges paid). The US ‘build-to-rent’ model, far from bringing efficiency to the rental market, has reportedly seen American corporate landlords focussed on short-term profits in order to please shareholders, at the expense of tenants’ security and even safety. An article entitled ‘When Wall Street Is Your Landlord’ lays bare the situation. The Irish label such schemes ‘Cuckoo & Vulture Funds’ – buying up property and developing co-living developments, which see tenants locked into renting micro-apartments. Rents are crucifying tenants.” But if our NSW Government is promoting ‘build-to-rent’, then surely it’s a great idea – yes/no?

Voters in Berlin have backed a non-binding referendum to expropriate the housing of large property companies in the German capital amid public anger over rising rents. More than 56% of voters supported the proposal with 99.9% of precincts reporting, the city-state’s election board said on its website. While the measure isn’t legally binding, it could mean transferring about 226,000 apartments into public hands if enacted -- including those of Deutsche Wohnen SE, which owns more than 100,000 units in Berlin.

NSW ‘Customer Service’ has issued a notice today: A specialised operation run by NSW Fair Trading has led to disciplinary action being taken against 20 real estate agents, resulting in the cancellation of eight real estate agent’s licences and $173,500 in penalties for failure to comply with strict rules around trust accounts. “Trust accounts consist of funds belonging 100 per cent to consumers so it’s critical the agents managing them stick to the rules…We’re not talking about small amounts here – these 20 agents alone held a combined total of $2.95 million in their trust accounts, and it is crucial this money is being handled correctly at all times.” Listed among the 20 real estate agents was Australian Executive Apartments Pty Ltd at Coogee. “An Officer” of this Agency was the subject of Court Orders with Penal Notice in 2015 and the main protagonist in other NSW Land and Environment Court Orders – [2007] NSWLEC 88 and [2007] 382.

Police in New York have seized seven vans allegedly used as Airbnb rentals. A copycat operation of the Airbnb vans turning a Sydney Suburbs into a sewer.

NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes’ changes to State Environmental Planning Policy [SEPP] ARHSTR 2021 aims to support the use of housing as short-term rental accommodation; clarifying the types of housing that may be used for the purposes of commercial holiday/tourist stays. The SEPP clearly states:

“The use of the dwelling for the purposes of short-term rental accommodation must…be lawful – adjoining owners’ property rights, the applicable common law and other legislative requirements for approvals, licences, permits and authorities still apply. For example – conditions of development consent, or a lease, may impose additional restrictions.”

Under NSW property law, we have Section 10.7 certificate (formerly known as 149 certificate). Also known as zoning certificates, these certificates are legal documents issued by a NSW Local Government Authority (Council) under the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. The certificates contain information about how a property may be used and restrictions on development that may apply. The Section 10.7(149) Certificate is one of the most important items to be read prior to purchasing a property and remains an essential document in any contract of sale.

Section 10.7(149) certificates, often together with Section 88B instruments and certificates of development approval, contain information about complying development such as zoning, permissible and prohibited land uses, details of exempt and complying development etc.

It is conditional upon NSW residents that they undertake all due diligence when purchasing Residential Dwellings and Residential Title Deeds under the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulations 2017 (NSW) (CSLR). Minister Rob Stokes’ recent changes to the [SEPP] ARHSTR 2021 could see residential dwellings operating as non-compliant, unlicensed hotels, except – except - where adjoining owners’ property rights and common law and other legislative requirements for approvals, licences, permits and authorities still apply. Truth: this is in fact in all residential settings. The NSW Land and Environment Court judges short-term rentals as fundamentally incompatiblewith neighbouring residents’ living conditions; and such commercial rentals also equate to the acquisition of valuable proprietary rights of neighbours without financial compensation. When will Planning Minister Stokes and/or his Department make this critical clause and information known to all Local Government Authorities and all NSW Residents?

The absolute truth about Airbnb and Stayz-type rentals is that they detract from a residential community and the rights of neighbouring residents in every conceivable way.

#Right2Housing Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits Neighbours not Strangers


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