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Airbnb declared illegal in NSW

By Rhyley Foenander

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, market-leading service Airbnb has been declared illegal in NSW.

Under new regulations, Airbnb and other short-stay accommodation options have been declared illegal, with the government reminding residents to stay home.

The new coronavirus regulations make clear that no one should be staying anywhere other than their own permanent home. If they break restrictions, they could be fined or imprisoned if they were found to be doing so without a “reasonable excuse”.

“There’s zero reason for someone to stay in an Airbnb,” said a spokesperson for the Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson. “It’s illegal to have any guests whatsoever.

“It isn’t illegal for them to advertise the property, but guests couldn’t get there without breaking the law.”

Short-term letting hosts have countered a sudden loss of business and a 90 per cent cancellation rate by previously advertising properties as “self-isolation packages” and, more recently, as “working from home bases”.

Mr Anderson noted: “The government advice to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has been very clear: stay in your local area, stay in your home. This is NOT the time to travel or visit family and friends.

“Anyone in NSW who leaves their house without a ‘reasonable excuse’ could spend up to six months in prison and face a fine of up to $11,000 under the emergency ministerial directive.”

*Originally, REB incorrectly said that this law change would impact 120,000 properties nationwide.


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