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State institute responds to rise of Airbnb

15 January 2016 Reporter

Airbnb and Stayz are “dramatically changing the character of the market” without having to observe the strict code followed by property managers, a report has warned.

The Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW) has made a submission to a NSW government inquiry into the regulation of short-term holiday letting services.

The institute noted that significant growth in short-term and online letting is “dramatically changing the character of the market” as properties become more accessible.

“It is important to note that online platforms offer no property management responsibilities,” the submission also said.

According to REINSW, the rise of online short-term letting presents issues surrounding the breach of strata laws relating to nuisance and the breach of council regulations allowing short-term stays.

REINSW also highlighted issues in relation to the safety of occupants as well as the collection of rents and bonds, since those letting through online platforms aren't licensed property managers.

One key suggestion made by REINSW is that all properties – whether entire properties, single rooms or vacant land spaces – should be required to hold a licence to operate as a short-term letting.

According to the submission, licence fees raised should fund a body to plan and administer compliance for short-term rental accommodation standards.

REINSW also stated that property owners must be held accountable for their properties’ short-term rental activities and for occupier behaviour, which will have enforceable standards.

“All responsibilities for compliance must remain directly with the property owner, irrespective of whether the owner engages an agent or online platform, and the property owner must hold the licence to operate the premises,” the REINSW submission said.

“Booking platforms, web-based accommodation portals, must only accept advertisements from complying and licensed premises.”

REINSW suggested that the state and federal government should collaborate on this issue to create a national committee for compliance standards.

The state government’s inquiry has been commissioned in response to the growing popularity of online platforms like Airbnb and Stayz.

According to the NSW government, the industry needs to be regulated under a common framework to address issues such as customer safety and protection, guest behaviour, land-use approvals, neighbourhood amenity, and licensing and taxation issues.

[Related: PMs can turn digital disruption to their advantage]

 

State institute responds to rise of Airbnb
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