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Signs are the Airbnb battle has been lost
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16/05/2018 - 2:13 am
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Used by more than a million people in New South Wales every year, Airbnb bizarrely operates completely unregulated.#9News |

Posted by 9 News Sydney on Tuesday, 15 May 2018



It looks very much like the NSW government is going to cave in to Airbnb bullies and follow the Victorian legislators down the road of a laissez faire attitude to holiday letting in your homes. And, adding insult to injury, they are going to call it a crackdown.

If a report in last night’s Channel Nine news is to be believed, the NSW Cabinet is about to recommend allowing holiday lets wherever anyone wants to put them,  dealing with problems with a pathetic “after the horse has bolted” imaginary restriction on badly behaved guests and hosts.

And the long and loud protests from us- the people who will have to live, literally, with the fall-out from these flawed policies – have been dismissed as a “storm in a teacup”.

You have to give some credibility to the story; leaking to news media is how the government gets its policies out into the public so it can test the water before committing to a course of action.

And, in dutifully repeating the convenient Airbnb PR lie that this is a “crackdown”, they are covering up the truth – the shackles will be off,  your strata home will not be not your own any more and your apartment block could turn into a hotel before your eyes.

In this news report at least, there is no differentiation made between houses and apartments.  This tallies with other observation made by insiders who have had discussions with policy makers.

This is no great surprise. Whether its aluminium cladding or dodgy developers phoenixing from one fraudulent scheme to the next, this government, like every other one before it, doesn’t give a stuff about apartment owners and tenants provided we keep buying units from their developer mates.

But let’s hope the Channel Nine story isn’t true – it wouldn’t be the first time.  For a start, it’s wrong to say Airbnb isn’t regulated – smart apartment owners have kept it at bay in blocks in Sydney where it’s not wanted. And there are regulations in place in the form of council planning laws, but our councils have chosen not to enforce them.

But it sounds like all that is about to be swept away. It’s a strange crackdown that removes the last meaningful controls from a burgeoning industry.

And we just have to look at Melbourne where there are no restrictions even at strata block level. There there’s been a 75 percent increase in Airbnb usage over the past year, according to

Maybe there’s still hope.  If Airbnb and Uber have taught us anything, it’s that if enough people break the law, a gutless government like ours will change it.  Time to stock up on glue guns and padlocks, methinks.

And when election time rolls around, we’ll remember who it was that handed our homes over to a company that snuggles up to our more gullible politicians and makes millions while barely paying tax in this country.  Parasites and predators, as Melbourne radio host Jon Faine memorably called them.


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17/05/2018 - 11:21 pm
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I am, I hope, a good landlord, tolerant and flexible! Unfortunately I had to rent a place for six months. The agency and landlord were excellent until I left! They wouldn’t give me my bond back! I had paid the agency’s cleaners to clean the place from top to bottom. They did a very good job except for one stain. I had paid the agency’s cleaners $440 to clean everything and the carpets. At inspection I was told that the stain would be taken up with the cleaners. BUT OH NO! The agency said I had to pay an extra $220. When I refused and said I was going to the Tenancy Tribunal they threatened to counter claim because I had had a dog on the premises. Yes, true bit not full time only when my daughter brought her over. I am off to the Tribunal on Monday. I will not be threatened or intimidated. I hope I will win. What does FLAT CHAT think?
In my years as a landlord I’ve had good and bad tenants. I hope my good nature with all of the tenants will come good on Monday in my favour.

Phil Gall
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21/05/2018 - 1:54 pm
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It beggars belief that a Government could possibly contemplate not allowing residential strata schemes to ‘self-determine’ whether or not they want their homes converted to a holiday unit complex.

How could they think some form of centralised regulation could ever work well across the thousands of strata schemes each differing in size, location, age, amenities and so on? The strata legislation recognises the need for each scheme to self regulate almost every aspect of strata living because each scheme is unique. However, for some reason (and Jimmy has suggested one) this principle is abandoned in this instance.

And how is Government going to ensure that any centralised scheme is going to be enforced? Who is going to ‘count the days’ each apartment is let for holiday purposes apart from AirBnB etc to ensure that the Victorian style law is going to be complied with? The self regulation model of strata already provides a mechanism to establish and enforce by-laws (albeit imperfect) with the incentives to regulate with the people directly affected.

Pity help the poor residents who thought they were buying a residential apartment as their home only to find strangers stalking their once secure corridors and ‘taking over’ the facilities such as the courtyard pool that they pay for with their strata levies.

Unless there is a turnaround this one will fester undermining the already questionable option of strata living for many. And there are many people across the state living in strata now, all of whom vote.

Arthur Baker
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21/05/2018 - 1:54 pm
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You might like to take a look at this new article on “The Conversation” website.

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22/05/2018 - 5:38 pm
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