We Live Here articles

Insurance snub to short-stay risks

Insurance companies seem to have developed a distinct distaste for Airbnb and short-stays in general. Check out the small print in your latest home insurance policy Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). Just below the charming exclusions for hazardous materials or illegal drugs, you may find another squeamish aversion: short-stays. Your policy may well have something like

Knife fights and Airbnb

Another wild fight in an Airbnb apartment in the CBD left a number of young people with stab wounds and residents fuming about the under-regulated short-stay industry. A brawl broke out in a Spencer St apartment in March as about 50 revellers gathered at a private party. Police believe the fight began in the apartment

Government hypocrisy on the record

By Barbara Francis and Rus Littleson Hansard can be decidedly inconvenient for pivoting politicians. The state government managed to tie itself in syllogistic knots defending the indefensible this month, at the second reading of the Owners’ Corporations and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2019. Its stunning self-contradictions are now recorded in Hansard for posterity. They had

OCs have “responsibility” to inform short-stay guests on cladding

By Barbara Francis & Rus Littleson Cladding Safety Victoria (CSV) is placing the onus jointly on owners’ corporations (OCs) and owners to inform transient short-stay guests about flammable cladding. In our previous column we said that CSV had not provided any advice on how OCs can deal with transient guests who are more likely to

State cladding group splits from VBA

By Barbara Francis & Rus Littleson Cladding Safety Victoria (CSV) is splitting off from the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) to become the world’s first standalone agency for combustible cladding rectification. CSV has kindly provided We Live Here with a report card on its progress this year: 460 individual owners’ corporations (OC) have met with CSV.

Short-stays exploit family violence loophole

By Barbara Francis and Rus Littleson In a new low for a controversial industry, short-stay guests have claimed to be victims of family violence to get around the Stage 3 and 4 bans on Airbnb and similar services. In banning short-term letting platforms from providing holiday accommodation, the DHHS included a “List of Permitted Operations”

Short-stays will endanger COVID recovery

Open letter to the Minister for Consumer Affairs (CAV) and the Minister for Health and Human Services (DHHS) Dear Ministers, The COVID-19 pandemic and the worldwide collapse of tourism has demonstrated what years of lobbying has failed to do: that there is no place for short-stay operations in high-rise residential buildings.  The problem is fundamental:

Airbnb CEO “has mucked it all up”

Airbnb has reportedly taken a $1.5 billion hit in the COVID-19 pandemic. Embattled CEO, Brian Chesky, is reported to be living with his mum again, bemoaning, “it felt like everything was breaking at once”. Perhaps the short-stay behemoth’s financial predicament prompted a sudden awakening in the uncharacteristically morose Mr Chesky, who mused wistfully about regressing

Stage 3 lockdown fines for short-stays

Reimposed COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and massive fines have the potential to damage the entire short-stay industry beyond recognition. All operators of short-stays, including apartment owners and commercial operators (beyond just Airbnb), can now look forward to fines ranging from $1652 to $9913 for each booking, with each guest facing a fine of $1652. Prior to

Short-stays in the aftermath of COVID-19

An open Letter to the Premier of Victoria and the Lord Mayor of Melbourne … For years we have lobbied for the regulation of the short-stay industry, especially in high-rise residential strata buildings not designed for hotel-type accommodation.  Our pleas have mostly fallen on deaf ears and the current changes to the legislation are proving

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