Byron Shire Council has a plan to stop the increasing number of short term rental accommodation.
Byron Shire Council has a plan to stop the increasing number of short term rental accommodation.

Stayz seeks help from ‘mum and dad’ holiday homeowners

BYRON Shire Council is asking residents to share their thoughts on whether short-term rental accommodation (STRA) letting should be capped.

The council is seeking community feedback on a set of draft planning controls that will define and regulate STRA in the Byron Shire until January 30.

The question put to the public is whether the council should cap the number of days homeowners would be allowed to host their property on STRA websites, like AirBnB or Stayz.

The council is proposing either a 90-day cap or keep the number open to 365 days.

Staff will review the feedback received from the community before submitting the proposed changes to Byron LEP 2014 for the council to consider.

If supported by the council, the planning proposal will be submitted to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for a gateway determination and will also be placed on formal public exhibition.

But holiday rental website, Stayz, has urged holiday homeowners to push back against the proposed restrictions for short-term rentals in the area.

Stayz corporate affairs director, Eacham Curry, said Byron Shire Council needed to push pause on its new short-term rental accommodation regulations, as they will fail to address key questions about the growing holiday rental industry.

"Stayz has called on the mum and dad holiday homeowners who let out their properties on the Stayz website to tell Byron Shire Council about the problems with council's proposed regulations as well as the value of short-term rental accommodation to the area," Mr Curry said.

"While Stayz appreciates that Byron Shire Council is seeking to resolve questions about the short-term rental accommodation sector's impact on housing affordability, housing availability, accessibility to government resources and service provision, and neighbourhood amenity.

"Night caps and use restrictions only serve to drive up the cost of holiday accommodation, result in holiday homes sitting unused for longer and, ultimately, send valuable tourism dollars to other parts of the country.

"Rather than jumping straight to night caps and restrictions, Byron Shire Council should wait until the NSW Government introduces its register for short-term rentals and let the data that is collected point to sensible and effective solutions for the industry."

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