Guesthouses could face extinction under new letting laws

Short term holiday letting needs more regulation in Byron

Short term holiday letting needs more regulation in Byron, not less, says local MP Tamara Smith.

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Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith will tomorrow meet with guesthouse operators from the Byron Shire area to talk about changes to short term holiday letting legislation.

“I will be talking with a large group of guesthouse operators from the Byron region about the implications for them of the Fair Trading Amendment (Short-term rental accommodation) Bill 2018 which is expected to be debated in NSW Parliament next week,” said Ms Smith.

“The bill allows hosts outside of Sydney who do not live at the residence to let out their homes every day of the year. The bill will allow councils such as Byron Shire Council to apply to restrict letting to 180 days per year but the Greens feel this is still too many days for communities with large numbers of holiday homes.

“The Greens will be calling for significant changes to this legislation, with an emphasis on allowing councils the ability to determine the maximum limit of short term holiday letting days per year that suits their community.

“The one-size-fits-all approach ignores the unique challenges of short term holiday letting presents to certain communities like ours. This is another example of the NSW Government consulting but not listening to the community.

“The Greens welcome a mandatory code of conduct but ultimately local councils will be left to manage the impacts and they are best placed to regulate the short-term holiday let market. Many of these properties for let on sites such as Airbnb and Stayz operate like accommodation businesses and should face local development controls.

“The NSW Greens support a sharing economy but it shouldn’t have negative consequences for communities. The government has failed to get the balance right with these proposed regulations. We need a fair, level playing field for accommodation providers.

“If this bill is passed without significant amendments we will almost certainly see local guesthouses, bed and breakfasts and small hotels go out of business because they simply cannot compete with holiday lets that do not face the same compliance and regulatory costs,” said Ms Smith.

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