A PUBLIC meeting in Noosa earlier this year identified broad dissatisfaction with tenant behaviour in Airbnb rental properties.
A PUBLIC meeting in Noosa earlier this year identified broad dissatisfaction with tenant behaviour in Airbnb rental properties. Peter Gardiner

Will Queensland play follow the leader to NSW

SUNSHINE Coast unit owners would welcome tighter regulation on short-term rental through online websites, with one body corporate manager describing the practice as a major plague.

The NSW Government has announced plans to restrict short-term rentals to a maximum of 180 days a year, along with stiff penalties imposed on owners whose tenants misbehave.

Breaches of the code of conduct provisions relating principally to behaviour of tenants would trigger five-year bans from any online platform for two serious breaches within two years.

Apartment buildings could also, with a 75 per cent majority, ban online short-term rental where the owner did not live in the unit.

Bryant Body Corporate Management head Peter Bryant said he hoped Queensland followed suit saying the practice had become very unpopular with a lot of owners.

Mr Bryant said the majority of owners in one high-end 17-unit complex at Alexandra Headland wanted to prevent short-term stays but were currently powerless to do anything.

He said while existing body corporate by-laws could condition the actions of individual owners they could not prohibit them.

And he said even with the new NSW laws, achieving the 75 per cent majority to ban online short-term rental would depend entirely on the owner mix.

"Investors would not give a damn," Mr Bryant said.

Airbnb has welcomed the new NSW legislation which it sees as a model that balanced competing interests.

While the bans would be the toughest imposed globally, the 180-day cap on rental nights was among the most generous.

Owners who live in their properties would be allowed unfettered opportunity to rent them out while they were away on holidays.

Noosa Council has been wrestling with the issue following a string of complaints about the behaviour of short-term tenants.

Mayor Tony Wellington has claimed Airbnb produced conflicting figures about the number of listings it held in the tourism mecca.

And in a statement last month he accused it of pretending its listings were home-hosted when Deloitte Access data had found in 70 per cent of cases the home owner was not present.

"All Noosa Council wants is some transparency in the sector," Cr Wellington said.

He has called for state government legislation to force online booking sites to divulge property addresses to allow councils to effectively manage the impact that some have on the amenity of local neighbourhoods.

A Sunshine Coast Council spokesman said it was continuing to review the emerging issues arising from shared accommodation services such as Stayz and Airbnb.

"It's important to note the NSW policy derives from state level as opposed to local government," he said.

"Council recognises the role the State Government plays in ensuring a level playing field for all short-term accommodation and affordable housing requirements across all local government areas and will await the Queensland Government's reaction, if any, to the New South Wales legislation.

"The State Government has previously announced it has established an Industry Reference Group to review short-term accommodation services at a state-wide level."