Sydney is in the Top 10 list of Airbnb cities globally, with more than 15,000 listings in the CBD and surrounds, although the rapid growth of the accommodation-sharing service has been met with a confusing response by local and state legislators. 

In 2014, for example, the city’s local government authority was forced to explain itself when it simultaneously threatened Airbnb operators with $1 million fines, while spruiking the site’s “cheap accommodation” in a guide for international students.  

This week, the legality of Airbnb and similar services in New South Wales may become clearer, with a report, prepared for the Baird government after an 18-month parliamentary inquiry, set to be handed in.  

 

Liberal MP Mark Coure, the chairman of the NSW parliament’s Environment and Planning Committee, said that the report gives the green light to home-sharing operators. He said in a statement to media: 

“The sharing economy is booming in NSW as more people are finding creative ways to turn unused things into income. This report is about giving certainty. Not everyone is a winner, but we have tried to get the balance right for consumers, home owners and the wider community.”

The report will recommend that hosts renting out their principle place of residence will not need to seek council approval, although those wishing to rent out an empty property for short stays will need to abide by a “code of conduct” and seek council approval.

Such properties will need to seek government approval as ‘complying developments‘, the specifics details of which can be found in the state’s Electronic Housing Code

Airbnb’s Australian country manager Sam McDonagh welcomed the news in a statement to Pedestrian.TV earlier today, saying:

“This is great news for the thousands of everyday people making a little extra income opening their homes to travellers across New South Wales. We welcome this news. It is a massive step in the right direction and we applaud Mark Coure and the committee members for showing they’re serious about embracing home sharing, and growing the visitor economy.”

“We look forward to continuing to work with the government to implement fair home sharing rules that allow more people to monetise their extra space.” 

The report will be tabled to the NSW parliament on Wednesday, paving the way for it to be adopted, allowing home sharing to be regulated for the first time in the state. 

Source: Fairfax / Airbnb.

Photo: Airbnb.