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  • Flat Chat: Horror Airbnb hosts flout building’s and council’s by-laws

    2019 - 08.21

    Flat Chat – March 28 Photo: Shakespeare.The facts are appalling – a family rents several apartments they own in a seaside block through an online agency, in direct contravention of their building’s by-laws and local council zoning.
    Nanjing Night Net

    They are making so much money from this that they just pay any NSW Civil Administration Tribunal fines that come their way.

    Meanwhile, the council says they need more reliable evidence than something as unconvincing as Airbnb listings, complete with an online calendar that tallies with the comings and goings of short-term guests.

    A senior member of the council, and a friend of the family, also rents part of his house online as holiday accommodation.

    Members of the executive committee have been threatened, their cars have been keyed, they are subject to a torrent of email abuse, police have been called many times and AVOs have been issued.

    Now, before all you Airheads get your iPads in a twist, this is not an attack on Airbnb. We use it and have found some great friends through it.

    The problem is, online rental agencies make it way too easy for scumbags like this family to flout their building’s by-laws and ignore council zoning.

    At least Airbnb asks owners to confirm that they are allowed to list their properties this way. This family is clearly lying. Unfortunately, the Airbnb complaints email address isn’t working.

    The two real problems here are that, firstly NCAT is ultimately a toothless organisation, no better than its predecessor the CTTT when it comes to dealing with the realities of modern apartment living.

    If the by-law breacher decides it’s worth paying modest fines every few months, there’s nothing they can do. Another fine, another slap on the wrist and the victims get zilch as their apartment block is turned into a holiday hotel.

    As for the council – let us not forget that the government prefers to leave issues like this to the locals; hand washing and buck passing in one deft move. Sydney MP Alex Greenwich’s bill on short-term letting can’t come soon enough.

    You can read the whole holiday hosting horror story on the Flat Chat Forum.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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