SHORT-TERM LETTING HAS HUGE IMPACTS ON RENTAL AVAILABILITY, HOUSING AFFORDABILITY - IF IT’S THE BIG ISSUE, FIX IT

Short-stay holiday rentals drive up rents and strata fees and make apartment living less affordable, and if the new Premier wants to tackle housing affordability, she could do worse than starting here.

Apartments that used to rent for $540 a week now rent for over $1,500, and a NSW Parliamentary Inquiry recently recommended strata buildings have more control over the short stay explosion.

And a new University of Sydney study shows that short-term renting makes housing less affordable, bolstering the campaign for apartment owners to be able to allow, or not allow, short-term letting.

Under recent changes, apartment owners do not have this power, and they are calling on the new Premier, and Ministers for Better Regulation and Planning in the new Cabinet, to act.

“Some strata communities will want short-term letting allowed, and others will not – and what we want is a choice and a say in the decision,” said Owners Corporation Network’s Stephen Goddard.

The Owners Corporation Network is launching the Our Strata Community, Our Choice campaign to demand the NSW Government empower owners to decide if they will accept short-term tourists.

“Yes, this would result in less apartments being available through platforms such as Airbnb, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing,” said Goddard.

“This is a measure the NSW Government can take in isolation from the Federal Government and negative gearing, and that won’t blow a hole in the budget like with stamp duty changes or grants.

“And it would put downward pressure on rents, meaning that it is easier for young people who are saving for a deposit.”

The University of Sydney research analysed the impact of short-term letting on five municipalities in Sydney, including City of Sydney, Waverley, Marrickville, Leichhardt and Parramatta, found that:

“Planners and policymakers in cities with increasing numbers of Airbnb rentals need to review how well local planning controls manage the neighbourhood nuisances, traffic, and parking problems that may be associated with them while acting to protect the permanent rental housing supply.”

“From reducing housing affordability to impacting on local neighbourhoods, this report highlights why the NSW Government must give apartment owners a say on short-stays,” said Goddard.

“Premier Berejiklian proclaimed one of her top priorities is addressing housing affordability, and the first, easiest and cheapest step she could take is to crackdown on short-term letting that is making the situation worse.

“With the NSW Government now considering its response to the adequacy of the regulation of short-term holiday letting, it is time to face facts and make changes to the relevant act.”

Despite claims often made by short-term letting advocates, researchers concluded that: “providers like Airbnb are not helping the affordability problem facing many Australians on low incomes.”

“Apartment owners want a say on short-term letting in their respective building and they should be given a say,” said Goddard

“The NSW Government must listen to the evidence and give strata communities a say on how their property is used.”