ROUNDUP: Airbnb – wake me up when it’s all over


Are you sick of reading about Airbnb?  Me too. I for one will be so glad when the whole online holiday letting debate is put to bed.

That said, unfettered short-term letting is one of the most potent threats to the way we live in StrataLand – a much more real threat than the faint possibility of cladding fires – and we need to keep the bastards honest.

The holiday letting agencies are launching their big bucks campaign to convince the majority of state MPs (most of whose constituents are not affected) to sell the rest of us down the river.

Sorry, did I say “sell”?  Of course, I mean “rent” … sorry … “share”.

Yes, they want every apartment owner to be able to “share” YOUR common property with THEIR paying guests. Cosy!

So expect lots of soft-focus advertising and glowing, largely unedited features in newspapers extolling the life-saving virtues of holiday letting.

However, for a slightly different view, tonight (Tuesday 24th) Sydney MP Alex Greenwich, fresh from leading the Yes campaign for same-sex marriage, will host a “town hall” style public meeting about holiday letting in parliament.

It’s aimed at presenting the facts and cutting through some of the spin and BS pumped out by the global holiday letting corporations. Tickets are limited but I think there may still be one or two available here on the OCN Website.

Meanwhile I received a Press release today from MadeComfy – a company that cleans your flat, changes the sheets, hands over the keys and generally makes it easier for you to perform the physical impossibility of “sharing” your apartment without having to actually meet the people you are sharing it with.

MadeComfy, who boast that they manage $400 million in properties in Australian cities for holiday letting hosts, wrote to let us know they have hopped into bed with Stayz (the other online holiday letting giant).

Apparently they share the view that new laws should make it easier for us to deal with badly behaved hosts and guests once our homes have been turned into hotels.

I responded with two questions:

Do they believe that apartment owners who bought on the basis that their units were residential only (as per their council zoning) should be allowed to pass by-laws enforcing that zoning?

Or do they think that individual unit owners should be able to subvert their planning regulations and the wishes of the vast majority of their neighbours  in order to make the maximum profit from their properties?

So far, silence, but I’ll keep you posted on their response.

By the way, I will be making a major confession live on air on James Valentine’s afternoon show on Friday (Oct 27th) at 2pm Monday, October 30 at 2.30pm – or you can catch it as a podcast, later, right here.

Finally, it’s been a lively week on the Forum and here’s a sample of some of the topics that have had us scratching our heads and stroking our chins.

  • Can the chairperson rule out strata committee motions because they aren’t likely to fly (because they are a bit daft)? That’s HERE.
  • What can you do about determined efforts by a minority to disrupt committee meetings? That’s
  • An oldie but a goodie – what do you do about a clapped out aircon unit installed on common property, without proper permission, by a previous owner who is now long gone? That’s
  • Strata manager has attacked owners for complaining about an neighbour who parks illegally in visitor parking. That’s HERE.
  • Can absent committee members pass their votes on to others who turn up for the meetings? That’s HERE.

As ever, there will be even more by the time you read this.  Don’t miss out.

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