Roundup – Row over Airbnb code of conduct


Don’t hold out too much hope for a short-term holiday letting code of conduct that’s actually going to help you keep the peace when Airbnb, Stayz and all the other online holiday letting agencies get free rein in blocks that don’t have anti-short term holiday letting by-laws.

It seems the committee considering the code for the NSW government could use a code of conduct itself.  According to reports we’ve heard, the committee has more than 15 representatives from professional and corporate “stakeholders” in the industry … and one from strata residents.

We know this because when the Owners Corporation Network dared to send a second delegate representing strata residents, one of the holiday letting agencies started whining that they had only been allowed to have one representative

Obviously, the pro-STHL lobby couldn’t cope with odds of 7 to one in their favour, so the second OCN rep was asked to leave. To be fair, the Innovation and Better Regulation department (aka Fair Trading) were uncomfortable with this bullying and so came up with a brilliant solution – any group that feels they should have two delegates at the next meeting can send an extra one.

They’re going to need a bigger room.  What are the chances that next time round, it will be 30 to 2, rather than 15 to 1?

Oh, and by the way, you can forget any prospect of there being a register of short-term lets in NSW, despite the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) report out this week that says a register is the only realistic way to police what few controls there are.

The government doesn’t want to have to pay for it, the “industry” doesn’t want that kind of reality check on their dubious practises and, as we know, strata residents don’t matter.

Meanwhile, in the real world, we get on with sorting things out ourselves and, if we can’t do that, writing to the Flat Chat Forum.

  • The ongoing saga of the owners who have been illegally parking on the common property lawn because they are turning their garage into a games room has moved on considerably, with the strata committee generously concreting the lawn for them. That’s HERE.
  • How’s this for a conundrum? Nobody knew that there was a noise from the extractor fans on the building’s roof … because the previous resident of the apartment below was profoundly deaf. Now the new resident is being driven mad by the constant hum.  What can they do?  That’s HERE.
  • Nobody wants to kick people while they’re down, but what can you do about a homeless person who has taken up residence on common property? That’s HERE.
  • We’ve all seen those romantic movies with a wailing saxophone wafting through the concrete canyons of a city like New York. But what do you do when a tenant in your suburban block decides that he can play his electric guitar at full volume whenever he feels like it.  That’s HERE.
  • A developer is sniffing around our block, making tentative offers to buy apartments with a view to … what? Are we heading for forced sales? Is there a process that should be followed?  Well, yes, there is and you’ll find links to it HERE.

And you’ll find links to a heap of other questions and answers on the Forum.

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