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Airbnb laws fail as partygoers riot and rob
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JimmyT
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11/09/2018 - 8:57 am
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Deep flaws in the Victorian government’s laissez faire short-term holiday letting laws were exposed at the weekend when a groups of  partying teenagers ran riot in a Melbourne Airbnb rental, trashing trashing the apartment, robbing neighbours and fighting in the common areas of the building.

Police were called to the tower in the early hours of Sunday morning following reports of violence as a party spread into common areas of the Neo 200 building in Spencer Street  in Melbourne’s CBD.

According to various reports, scores of youths fought and ran riot in corridors and foyer of the building and were connected to ­aggravated burglaries of two other apartments in the high-rise building. A camera, telescope, computer, laptops, phones and cash were taken.

The apartment that had been hired for the party was extensively damaged, according to reports in various News Ltd newspapers. The incident was the latest of many instances of violence and extensive damage caused to short-term holiday letting (STHL) properties rented for parties across Melbourne.

Laws passed last month allegedly cracking down on short-stay or Airbnb apartments – but in fact opening doors to a massive 75 per cent increase in holiday lets – allow for the black-listing of those repeatedly used for wild parties and compensation of up to $2000 for neighbours.  However, they do nothing to curb one-off rentals where, routinely, different identities are used to rent the units.

Unlike in NSW, where apartment owners can pass by-laws to prevent apartments being let commercially on a short-term basis, Victoria’s STHL laws are based on catching culprits after the matter and banning individual lets on a “three strikes” basis.

Alarmed by residents scared off from buying into blocks that could potentially turn into holiday hotels and party blocks – and to attract owners who want to get away from STHL buildings – some developers are requiring purchasers to sign contracts saying they will never put their units on Airbnb or any other STHL letting platform.

Angry apartment owners in Melbourne are planning to make this an election issue at the upcoming Victoria state elections.

 

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proxaccess
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12/09/2018 - 7:27 am
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Unlike in NSW, where apartment owners can pass by-laws to prevent apartments being let commercially on a short-term basis, ????

Since when?… Not true, nothing in NSW can be done to prevent short-term letting, especially not a building by-laws since nothing in the legislation allows owners corporations to prevent it..

Not sure why you wrote that.

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JimmyT
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12/09/2018 - 10:59 am
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proxaccess said
Unlike in NSW, where apartment owners can pass by-laws to prevent apartments being let commercially on a short-term basis … Not true, nothing in NSW can be done to prevent short-term letting, especially not a building by-laws since nothing in the legislation allows owners corporations to prevent it … Not sure why you wrote that.  

I wrote it because it’s true and it was true even before the government announced the new legislation that will come in next year. 

Hundreds of apartment buildings in NSW have by-laws restricting short-term holiday lets.  Their legal right to have them was enshrined in a decision by the Privy Council, the highest court in the British Commonwealth, and the West Australian Court of Appeal.

Now, while having no direct bearing on NSW law, these decisions would certainly be considered as significant in any court hearing

The fact that one badly written by-law in one building was overturned by one NCAT Member is of no significance whatsoever (except to warn you to write your by-laws more circumspectly). NCAT decisions at that level don’t even create precedents for NCAT. But it is significant is that Airbnb and their mates in the NSW government clung on to that one tiny decision as if it was holy writ – a sign of how flimsy their case really was.

So, thus far, no one has successfully challenged a properly written short-term letting by-law in a proper court in NSW.  One has been challenged at the highest level in WA and the challenge failed.  This is how the law – even strata law – works. Laws are passed and they are tested in court. 

Lawyers and strata managers are still working out the best form of words for a by-law for when the new strata laws come in next year, but in the meantime, active owners corps who have valid by-laws are shutting down Airbnb and other STHL operations in their blocks.

So, again, to answer your question about why I wrote it, it was to put the facts out there and counter the constant propaganda stream from those entities that are happy to disrupt and destroy  our communities for their own profits, regardless of the consequences to the majority of people who thought they were buying a home, not a hotel. 

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proxaccess
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19/09/2018 - 11:28 am
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JimmyT said

proxaccess said
Nothing in NSW can be done to prevent short-term letting, especially not a building by-laws since nothing in the legislation allows owners corporations to prevent it … Not sure why you wrote that.  

I wrote it because it’s true and it was true even before the government announced the new legislation that will come in next year… to put the facts out there and counter the constant propaganda stream from those entities that are happy to disrupt and destroy  our communities for their own profits, regardless of the consequences to the majority of people who thought they were buying a home, not a hotel.   

Thank you for the information.

Really useful

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