Coun­cil ban hits AirBnB

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - CAMP­BELL GELLIE

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.

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