For more than two years, Airbnb has been a vocal and at times lone champion of new laws in Victoria to better manage bad actors and behaviour in units and apartments.
The Victorian Government’s tough but fair behavioural laws – the Owners Corporation Amendment (Short-stay Accommodation) Bill 2016 passed the Parliament this week. These laws will punish the tiny minority of people who do the wrong thing, while ensuring the overwhelming majority of people who do the right thing aren’t unfairly penalised.
At least one other short term rental platform argued these new laws go too far. Airbnb takes a different view. We accept there is a balance here, and our hosts have the right to share their homes, while our community also has an obligation to ensure neighbours can enjoy their neighbourhoods.
Here are the key facts about the new laws, they:
- Apply to people home sharing in an owners corporation scheme. This includes if a person is sharing a private room, their whole home while away or sharing a non-primary place of residence.
- Define what bad or inappropriate conduct is, and what would constitute a breach or strike under the new laws. This includes things like making excessive noise or damaging property.
- Will come into effect or start from 1 February 2019
- Give the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) more powers to manage bad actors and behaviour. The VCAT will be able to:
- Fine people up to $1,100 for inappropriate conduct
- Award compensation of up to $2,000 to each resident whose amenity has been affected by inappropriate conduct
- Prohibit the use of a home for home sharing if they have been found guilty of three instances of inappropriate conduct in a two year period.
Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy Australia and New Zealand Brent Thomas said:
Airbnb welcomes the passage of the Victorian Government’s tough but fair laws. These laws will deter bad behaviour and punish the minority of people who do the wrong thing, while ensuring the overwhelming majority of people who do the right thing aren’t unfairly penalised. As we’ve said, passing these laws is a good step but not the last step. We look forward to working with the Government on implementing these laws and taking further action against anti-social behaviour.