Council ban hits AirBnB
TWEED councillors ruined three holiday-makers’ plans for Christmas last night when they decided to ban short-term letting at a Casuarina home.
The councillors spent almost an hour debating the future of short-term renting at the Aeolus Lane home after receiving two complaints from neighbours over the past year.
The decision leaves the thousands of short-term rentals listed on AirBnB in limbo, as councillors will have to decide on which to close down based on complaints received.
The Aeolus Lane home received its first complaint in March after neighbours got their goat up about noise coming from guests.
Council officers contacted the owner telling him he wasn’t allowed short-term rentals at the property.
He stopped doing it until June when the NSW Government announced it was introducing new laws which allowed short-term rentals and would implement a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ policy.
In that time he had secured more bookings including three scheduled for this Christmas.
But in November the council received another complaint about the home before the state law had been enforced.
Cr Warren Polglase proposed a moratorium of cracking down on short-term letting until the State Government introduced its new law.
“We know there are hundreds of complaints out there, I know four other properties the same as this one,” he said.
But Cr Reece Byrnes said the moratorium would open the floodgates for wild parties at short-term rentals and leave council powerless to police them. Mayor Katie Milne said two complaints was not substantial considering the State Government was planning to enforce on the third.
“We are working on complaints that we don’t know if they are valid or not, and it doesn’t seem consistent with the level of evidence we need for compliance on other matters,” she said.
Cr Milne and Cr Chris Cherry endorsed a motion to allow the owner to keep operating for his Christmas bookings, but if there was another complaint it would come before council, with the suggestion of bringing in the complainant to give evidence.
That motion was lost 5-2.