New York bans commercial Airbnb-style short-term letting, now it’s time for Australian jurisdictions to follow suit

New York bans commercial Airbnb-style short-term letting, now it’s time for Australian jurisdictions to follow suit
New York bans commercial Airbnb-style short-term letting, now it’s time for Australian jurisdictions to follow suit

GUEST OBSERVER

New York's ban on commercial short term lettings – and the advertising of non-conforming short terms stays – should provide a model for Australian jurisdictions.

New York state law prohibits apartment owners from renting units for less than 30 days if they are not present, with fines of up to US$7500 forbreaches. On Friday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo approved a law that also outlawed advertising of short-term stays on sites such as Airbnb that violated the existing law. 

The New York law follows similar crackdowns in cities such as San Francisco, Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam, while Dublin and London are also considering tightening regulations. 

The global move to curb commercial unregulated short-termaccommodation comes less than a week after a NSW Legislative Assembly Inquiry recommended a reduction in regulation, a move that has been strongly opposed by resident/strata bodies and regulated accommodation operators. 

It is ironic that at a time when city administrators across America and Europe are imposing major restrictions on unregulated commercial short-term accommodation operators that a NSW parliamentary committee should be advocating a softening of regulations

The overwhelming majority of listings for unregulated short term accommodation in Sydney are for full houses and flats involving no sharing, and increasingly the sector is being controlled by commercialoperators with multiple properties available 365 days a year. 

This is the same situation that has occurred in American and European cities and they have taken action to control the situation.

We call on Australian governments at all levels to take note and take action to protect residents, communities and regulated accommodation operators.

As in New York we want a very specific ceiling on the number of days an apartment or house can be let out on the short-term market and we want online distribution channels to be held responsible for ensuring these limits are not exceeded and that they advertise only properties that are compliant – meeting safety, insurance, body corporate, strata, council and state regulations. 

We are not against genuine ‘sharing’, but we believe there needs to be sensible and proportional regulations imposed on non-resident commercial property owners – especially multiple-property investors – who rent out full properties for short term stays.

Carol Giuseppi is chief executive officer, Tourism Accommodation Australia and can be contacted here

Tags: 
Rental market Air Bnb

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