Jail time plan for illegal Airbnb hosts

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Here’s an interesting thought.  Talking to  Owners Corporation Network deputy chair Jane Hearn the other day about who should run NSW’s register of short-term holiday lets (STHLs), she said, why not the people who are already geared up to identify the illegal ones … our old friends Bnbguard?

She has a point. Fair Trading is suspiciously pro STHL and our local councils have dropped the ball consistently, even though they’ve long had the ability to stop illegal lets in their tracks.

And as for the idea that the register should be “industry-led”, give us a break! Maybe you could get unemployed self-certifiers to do it.

Anyway, here is Bnbguard’s always informative and entertaining monthly roundup of STHL news from around the world.

NSW has (finally) released their proposals for regulating the short-stay industry, including requirements for hosts to hold proper insurance and an industry-run register. Foxes guarding the henhouse, or chickens guarding the feed? Registers are a good start to regulating STLs (though licensing is better), but a neutral register would be better to keep everyone honest.

So how are other places regulating STLs?

This month, Miami Beach added jail time to its $20,000 (per violation) fines, and a London public housing tenant was evicted and fined £100,000. All that money is needed for enforcement. Edinburgh paid £30,000 to stop just two party houses. That’s why BnbGuard is working to make it cheap and easy to enforce STL laws.

It wouldn’t be a BnbGuard news roundup without homes being trashed. This month an Airbnbparty in London racked up $80,000 in damages. Closer to home, an Auckland Airbnb rental left “bodily fluid” and trashed a family memento. But don’t worry, the guests had “good references”.

Short-term letting is quickly becoming pervasive in tourist areas.

In Edinburgh, more properties are available for short-term let than long-term. And on the Isle of Skye (just a bit north and west), one in 10 properties is on Airbnb. Too bad it’s not most of us getting rich from it.

A London study showed that half of Airbnb hosts had multiple listings, with one in five having more than 10 listings (!). The pros are making the money, the rest of us get to clean up the mess.

STR Site of the Month

Misterb&b.com is one of a suite of niche sites that provide short-stays for a particular group – “Airbnb for X” – in this case, X is LGBTQ folks. It’s cheap and easy to set up a short-stay site now so all you need is a market to target. Misterb&b has had huge success and in some areas of Australia, it’s the 2nd most popular site we monitor.

2 Replies to “Jail time plan for illegal Airbnb hosts”

  1. Avatar Jimmy-T says:

    This is now being discussed in the Flat Chat Forum

  2. Avatar johnthomas says:

    A resident (tenant) seems to be using his 3 bedroom unit for for short stays using a hidden key arrangement to facilitate the activity. However what is the difference between that activity and a shared arrangement for a longer period.

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