The majority of residents in Sydney’s inner-city suburbs believe it’s permissible for an apartment’s spare room to be rented out short term on websites like Airbnb and Stayz, or for the unit to be let when the owner is on holiday, according to a new study commissioned by the City of Sydney.
However, the majority of respondents said apartments should not be made available full time for short-term holiday letting (STHL).
Researchers from Woolcott Research and Engagement questioned more than 1,000 locals and found that 54% supported holiday lets where residents remain on the property (such as renting out a spare room). Slightly more than half (53%) supported allowing STHL when the owner was on holiday.
Just 35% of respondents supported apartments being made available full-time for STHL as a commercial operation by the owner.
Meanwhile, 64% of respondents said strata committees should have more power to manage impacts, such as antisocial behaviour and damage to property, and a majority margin of just 2% felt that strata committees should be able to ban short-term letting in their buildings.
Fifty-two percent of people who live in apartments where STHL occurs said they were negatively impacted by it through noise, safety concerns due to strangers in their buildings, rubbish, damage to property, overuse of communal facilities, drinking, parties, and recreational drug use.
The study’s results are likely to trigger a major shift from the council’s previously held position, made to a New South Wales Parliamentary inquiry in 2015, that a change of use from residential to STHL should be allowed, provided there is a cap on the number of nights allowed each year.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City would make a new submission in response to the Berejiklian government’s recent options paper.
“This research is part of our work to understand the positive and negative impacts of short-term letting, and to guide our submission on the NSW government’s options paper,” she said. “We’ll be backing this independent research with work to gauge the community’s preferences when it comes to short-term letting platforms like Airbnb and Stayz.”
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