Half of all apartments in NSW to have no say in short term letting rules

TUNSW Statement 5 June 2018:

Today’s announcement from the NSW Government in relation to short term holiday lettings is disappointing as it will not effectively protect against the potential impacts of holiday lettings and excludes many tenants from engaging in community decisions.

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Half of strata residents in NSW will have no vote in the decision to prevent Airbnb and other holiday letting platforms in their buildings.

“Tenants actually living in the building will have no say in the matter while an investor living in London will be free to vote to run a hotel all summer long”, says Leo Patterson Ross, Senior Policy Officer at TUNSW. “This is not about communities deciding for themselves as in some blocks more than half the community will be silenced.”

TUNSW encourages sensible regulation of short term holiday lettings which ensures communities are able to decide for themselves whether holiday lettings are appropriate. Regional areas will also have an extra hurdle to face as they will need to convince local government of the need for any limit.

TUNSW calls on government to protect tenants by restricting the commercial use of short term lets, and reforming tenancy law to limit evictions without a good reason.

TUNSW position has been reached through its own research, engaging academic expertise and learning from international experience. Our position has consistently been to limit personal use of short term holiday lettings to a reasonable amount of 60 days per year. Commercial operators operating more than 60 days per year should be subject to community decision making through local government planning rules.

If strata corporations are to have the power to decide whether to allow or exclude short term holiday lettings, strata schemes rules should be amended to allow tenants in the building to have the vote as well.

However, the prospect of property owners ending tenancies without grounds in order to experiment or cash in on short term letting over the summer months should also be a concern for all in the community. The Government's decision not to remove no grounds notices will maintain the ability for tenants to be unfairly evicted for short term holiday lettings.