BYRON Shire Council has strongly condemned the television program Instant Hotel which last night featured a property in the Byron Shire.
"I am concerned to see a property on Red Gate Road at South Golden Beach promoted as an 'instant hotel' particularly because there has been a history of non-compliance with respect to the use of the property," Mayor Simon Richardson said.
"The owners of this property have a flagrant disregard for Byron Shire Council and thus, the community, which is charged with protecting the rights of residents against unlawful developments.
"To see this property promoted on national television as an 'instant hotel' is extremely disappointing given it is not currently complying with Council regulations.
"Council has had more than 21 complaints about this property in the last two years and in fact Council issued a $3,000 on-the-spot fine to the owner of the premises on 2 November 2017 in relation to unauthorised activities.
"Council is also asking Airbnb to be the responsible corporate citizen they claim to be and withdraw their support for Instant Hotel and condemn the use of the house for unlawful holiday letting.
"Unauthorised short-term rental accommodation generates a wide range of complaints from local residents and they are also competing with recognised holiday and visitor accommodation providers who do work with the Council and obey the rules.
Cr Richardson said 2655 properties in the Byron Shire were advertised on holiday platforms such as Airbnb in 2017.
"When you consider there are only 4,256 listings for the Northern Rivers area, this is having a massive impact on our residential neighbourhoods," he said.
"To put this into perspective there are only 15,645 dwellings in the whole of the Byron Shire so that means almost 17% of properties are on Airbnb.
"The proliferation of unauthorised short-term holiday accommodation is threatening the fabric of our community and in some areas it is getting to the point where long-term residents don't know anyone in their street anymore.
"Short-term letting significantly reduces the amount of permanent and affordable rental accommodation.
"Byron Shire Council is putting owners of unauthorised short-term rental accommodation on notice - we are watching you and will prosecute if necessary."