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AAA renews attack on Airbnb, calls for official action

August 2, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

The Accommodation Association of Australia (AAA) has renewed its attack on Airbnb in relation to what it says is non-compliant accommodation.

AAA chief executive, Richard Munro, says the organisation is engaging with state and territory governments on this “growing issue”.

He says research conducted by the AAA has seen some “alarming trends in non-compliant accommodation, with figures indicating a whopping AUD 370 million in revenue annually in just Sydney and Melbourne alone through the Airbnb platform”.

He continues: “Airbnb portrays its product as a room-sharing platform but data indicates this represents only 1.5% in the Sydney market, with the majority of product on the site offered being entire units or homes.”

In an issued statement, Munro said that AAA figures, “which have been obtained with help from the site, demonstrate that the Airbnb growth is well above 20% year-on-year.

“Of course, this product is cheaper than traditional compliant accommodation as there is no obligation for Airbnb properties to provide any of the stringent safety measures imposed through the development application process.

“No GST or income tax is being paid, no jobs are being created, there is a significant negative impact on housing affordability and Airbnb properties are not compelled to provide access for the disabled – to name a few major flaws. These are also reasons why it is cheap.”

Munro says the AAA was the first organisation to take this up with all levels of government “and we intend to pursue the issue until the right outcome is achieved for the public and our members. The safety of consumers must be the top priority”.

He says the NSW government could be one of the first to introduce legislation to regulate “amateurs” passing themselves off as quasi-hotel operators and at the same time, seek to lessen the burden of compliance on our members.

“I am currently seeking feedback from our members in NSW on onerous compliance that could be reviewed in the next three months as part of the NSW Government options paper, which is expected to be released shortly.

“I have heard of examples such as fire-rated doors requiring inspections every six months on buildings that are over 30 years old at significant cost to the operator.”

Munro is asking anyone with other examples of “these type of regulatory impositions” to send him the information “to be included in our submission to government on your behalf”.

Edited by Peter Needham

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