Apartments being bought for Airbnb use, claims MP

Adam Smith 13 March 2017 NEWS

airbnb house1A NSW Liberal MP has claimed Sydney properties are being bought for the sole purpose of use as Airbnb rentals.

Member for Epping Damien Tudehope claimed in a speech to NSW Parliament last week that residential properties are being snatched up by buyers looking to use them as short-term accommodation rentals, Fairfax has reported.

“Anecdotally, there are now residential properties being built in Sydney’s most sought-after suburbs solely for the purpose of servicing tourists through the Airbnb market rather than being offered as a home,” Tudehope told Parliament.

But Fairfax has claimed that Tudehope’s allegations may not stand up to scrutiny. He said he had been told by constituents that properties purchased in Epping were “not going on the residential rental market, but rather the Airbnb market”, adding that it was “not unreasonable to conclude” that buyers were purchasing homes exclusively for use as Airbnb rentals.

Using your property as an Airbnb rental

While Tudehope told Fairfax his brother was head of Tourism Accommodation Australia, he insisted his primary concern was the impact short-term holiday stays such as Airbnb had on the residential property market.

“It is estimated that approximately 38% of the Airbnb market is shared accommodation, such as when the property owner has a spare room. So 62% of that market is by way of commercial rentals when the whole of the property is made available,” he told Fairfax.

Tudehope argued that there may be scope for restrictions on property use.

"There may be merit in allowing strata bodies to include a by-law whereby residents must all agree that commercial-residential accommodation is permitted in the building otherwise it will be excluded. We might also consider clarifying the difference between a property primarily used as a home in which spare rooms are occasionally rented out and a property which is listed as residential but is used predominantly for commercial purposes,” he told Fairfax.

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