Uber, Air BnB: Disrupting the rental market?

DISRUPTION is the new buzzword in business, with concepts such as Uber and Air BnB thriving.

Both Byron Mayor Simon Richardson and Byron Coastal Real Estate principal Gail Fuller are concerned hosting platforms such as Air BnB and Stayz are distorting the local property rental market.

Cr Richardson and Ms Fuller see the the problem from different angles but both note that although Air BnB started out as a trust based booking platform allowing locals to rent out their spare room to travellers, it appears to have become a de-facto holiday letting agency, with more and more of the listings being for whole houses.

Cr Richardson is also concerned that after the council waived developer contribution fees on secondary dwellings in 2011, many of those new dwellings are being offered not as affordable housing, but as short-term holiday accommodation through hosting platforms such as AirBnB.

"We are presently getting staff advice as to ways we can minimise this practice, perhaps imposing those contributions retrospectively should it be found these additional dwellings are being holiday let on a permanent basis."

Aside from sharing concerns about housing availability, Ms Fuller is also worried about governance.

Her company manages holiday rentals in Byron

Bay and believes Air BnB does not have to meet the same standards as her business.

Ms Fuller also confirmed that even smaller apartments were now being offered on Air BnB on a permanent basis, making this type of accommodation unavailable and unaffordable for locals.



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