Motel Mingle Forums General Chit Chat Airbnb – do we need them and those it promotes?

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  • #2891

    This issue is becoming of increasing concern for the ‘legitimate’ side of our industry. First it was the renting out of houses in residential areas and now added to this is the renting of room/s and the provision of bed and breakfast.

    They do not have adequate and appropriate insurance cover; they are not licensed by council who regulate the health and safety of our swimming pools and its surroundings. They are not qualified to provide food from their kitchens as well as receiving an annual hygiene inspection, including pest control. Their electrical appliances are not ‘tagged and tested’ as well as their fire safety equipment as a requirement of law.

    All this has a cost that we incur, but they don’t; no wonder they are a cheap alternative. We pay rates appropriate to our business as well as GST and taxes to the ATO. More than 50% of the industry are also accredited by SRA STAR Ratings, which provide consumer confidence on the quality and standard of accommodation being provided.

    6/7 years ago our Council looked at this, but decided not to do anything based on their inability to police it and its insignificance. Times have changed and this is all very visual via Airbnb’s website. Our town has 23 legitimate accommodation providers, but there are now 19 black economy operators listed on the website. This is taking bread out of our mouths.

    Below is an article on the subject that appeared in AccomNews on 29th September 2014 and by using the link provided, you can read the industry comments. I would suggest, as I have done, that you flick this article and comments over to the General Manager at your Council for comment/action. They, not us have the powers to stop this in its tracks once and for all, as Randwick is doing.

    Published on Monday, 29 September 2014 09:54
    NSW councils are threatening hefty penalties for property owners renting out houses and rooms through short-term accommodation sites such as Airbnb.

    The Randwick Council has issued letters giving 10 days for property owners to respond to a warning they could be liable for a maximum penalty of $1.1 million plus an additional $110,000 a day for operating “unauthorised” bed and breakfast businesses, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

    Other owners have been instructed to apply to become licensed B&Bs that would include expensive upgrades like fitting commercial kitchens whether they provide meals or not. Sydney councils were telling residents they would need to lodge development applications and were threatening $1 million-plus fines for what the councils saw as an illegal breach of their planning controls.

    Sam McDonagh, Airbnb’s manager for Australia and New Zealand, said the regulatory framework in NSW was “confusing”.

    “Queensland and Victoria both already have clear rules that allow people to rent out their homes for any period of time,” Mr McDonagh said.

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    • #2936

      imageBallina Colonial Motel

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        It took a couple of weeks, but I eventually got a neutral answer from Council. Once again, although I had handed them the details on a plate, they did not want to take any action.

        They would however, if I made a complaint about a particular operator operating outside of the law. O.K. so how do I know that? They, Council, are the only ones with all the facts at hand, I would only be guessing that a B&B was not legit. I suppose that I could bombard their office on a regular basis with another one for them to look at and by the end of it they will get so fed up that they will actively chase these guys.

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