Earlier this week, it was widely reported that Airbnbs were banned across NSW.
However, NSW Minister Kevin Anderson quickly clarified the government’s position, stating, “There is no ban on any kind of accommodation.”
A spokesperson of the government also confirmed that it is not illegal to list properties on platforms like Airbnb.
“There is no ban on any kind of accommodation, and the initial news articles reporting that Airbnbs in NSW are illegal are incorrect and misleading,” explains Quirin Schwaighofer, co-CEO and co-founder of AirBNB property management company, MadeComfy.
“At MadeComfy, we have a significant number of health care and essential service workers booking our self-contained apartments via Airbnb. It should also be noted that for many people an Airbnb is their ‘home’ at this time, for many reasons that are not actively being considered by the government's regulations. For example, people who have been ‘stuck’ in Australia waiting for a return flight to their country, or people who are between rental leases. In all these cases short-term rentals are providing a crucial service at this time to ensure there is appropriate accommodation for a range of needs.”
Indeed, the NSW Minister Kevin Anderson has retracted his earlier comments, with a statement issued to clarify that “the NSW Government acknowledges that in these circumstances the provision of short-term accommodation is often critical, particularly for our frontline health workers”.
For landlords, the onus is not on them to work out the intentions of those who are booking their property, adds Schwaighofer.
“Under the current NSW social distancing rules, everyone in the state must stay at home unless they have a lawful reason or reasonable excuse. Hence, it is our clear understanding that it is up to the guest to ensure they have the right reason to travel and book the accommodation,” he said.
“Our properties are a great solution to help those who need self-contained accommodation. For example, we are working with health authorities, hospitals and retirement homes on arrangements where we help to accommodate frontline staff. Our properties are also booked by family members to isolate from vulnerable members of the same household as a precaution in the event they become sick.”