Airbnb Big Winner From NSW Govt Inquiry

In great news for Airbnb and investors using the platform to grow a multi-property portfolio, a govt inquiry has controversially recommended that short-term term letting be legalised in NSW, Australia’s biggest state, whether or not there’s a resident on site to “share” their accommodation.  

In bland terms the govt committee recommends that:

  • Short-term letting of any property where the landlord or host is present be permitted.
  • Short-term letting of a principal place of residence be permitted.
  • Short-term letting of empty properties be permitted.

It also recommends that “short-term letting should be regarded as a residential use and, as such, should not trigger and Building Code of Australia requirements”.

That is despite the fact many who book short-term accommodation are tourists.

Cue tourism industry outrage.

“While there should be less regulation for tourism accommodation businesses not more, the Accommodation Association supports tighter controls being introduced – and enforced – on tourism accommodation promoted through sharing economy platforms,” said the Chief Executive Officer of the Accommodation Association of Australia, Richard Munro.

“Our industry takes particular exception to empty residential properties which are being used for tourism accommodation.

“There are apartment buildings or groups of properties with the same owner which are offering vacant residential premises as a direct alternative to traditional hotels and other tourism accommodation businesses.

“There must be a level-playing field for these ‘quasi-hotels’ and traditional tourism accommodation businesses.

“Any suggestion that quasi-hotels or other empty residential premises which are used for tourism accommodation should not have to comply with disability access standards and other regulatory measures, such as building fire safety requirements and having appropriate insurance in place – insurance for public places – must be rejected outright.”

See ABC story.

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