Airbnb has proposed a “three strikes” policy for managing bad behaviour

Jamie McKinnell
(Australian Associated Press)

Airbnb has proposed a “three strikes” policy for managing bad behaviour as the NSW government grapples with how to crack down on accommodation-sharing services.

The government in July released an options paper that included potential fines, self-regulation and license applications to help manage the booming industry.

Airbnb’s submission urged it to steer clear of “heavy-handed” rules such as caps, bans, registers and licenses.

It instead put forward the three-strikes policy and also wants the government to develop an industry code of conduct.

Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy ANZ Brent Thomas said the current NSW home sharing rules needed to be fixed.

“People should not be reduced to getting a lawyer or going to court to simply protect their rights,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

An inquiry last year recommended sites such as Airbnb and Stayz should operate with restrictions or penalties that are in place for party houses.

NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts in July said any new policy would need to balance protecting neighbours and allowing people to profit from providing short-term accommodation.

Airbnb’s submission has called for a statewide planning framework which clarifies that individuals are allowed to rent out the homes they live in without the need for licenses.

It also doesn’t want owners’ corporations to be able to ban short-term letting in strata communities.

Cities like London have restricted letting of residential property to 90 days a year without council permission.

At present in NSW, the thresholds for short-term letting vary from council to council.

There are more than 45,000 Airbnb listings in the state and the average host earns $5,300 a year.

The government will consider all submissions and is aiming to release a preliminary response within four weeks, however policy changes may not be made until the new year.

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