INVESTORS RORTING ‘SHARE’ ECONOMY LOOPHOLES: TAA

In Business by Clyde Mooney

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As legitimate providers around the world condemn the injustice of unregulated ‘share’ accommodation, the TAA has gone further to slam cheats rorting the loopholes even further.

The so-called ‘share’ economy is based in using technology to match people with a need to people willing to share their own property to satisfy that need – be it a spare room, a temporarily vacant house, or a vehicle. This concept has become best known through the highly successful Airbnb and Uber services.

But the Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) has highlighted investors further manipulating the shortfall in regulation by buying up bundles of apartments to rent through these sites. Multiple properties rented to consumers are deemed a commercial enterprise and such landlords are circumventing regulations that exist for a reason.

Hotels are required to conform to strict regulations, especially in regards to fire code, access and the appropriate insurances.

The TAA has said it is not targeting Airbnb or private citizens that rent a room periodically. However, it does say it believes such properties should be required to comply with guidelines around health and safety, possess relevant liability insurance, pay the appropriate taxes, and comply with building codes and strata regulations.

This objective has been somewhat hindered by a recent ruling by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Council (VCAT), which determined that an owners’ corporation rule prohibiting short-stay rental was invalid.

The TAA has submitted its thoughts on the sharing economy to the Federal opposition’s discussion paper, Sharing the Future: Getting policy right in the age of the App. It calls on Government to address the issue and establish rules forcing the registration of short-term accommodation providers that sees them required to meet relevant regulations.

Although this demand does not preclude Mr and Mrs Jones from renting out their spare bed, it would no doubt be a nightmare not worth having for most.

Twin beds in simple motel room