Tenants got angry when the owner of the Brisbane building tries to turn all units into Airbnb accommodations

Tenants got angry when the owner of the Brisbane building tries to turn all units into Airbnb accommodations

Tenants got angry when the owner of the Brisbane building tries to turn all units into Airbnb accommodations

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Tenants of a South Brisbane condo say they feel angry and disappointed after being advised to leave so that all apartments in the building can be listed on Airbnb.

One tenant said she was only recently informed of the building owner’s move to turn all nine apartments into short-term rentals, describing it as “unfair” in the midst of the city’s housing crisis.

“All tenants are long-term tenants who have lived in the building for years. There are families living downstairs, ”she told Guardian Australia.

She said she was worried she would struggle to find another affordable apartment to live in, with rents rising at the fastest rate in 14 years.

“The rents have completely increased and it’s so competitive. I think it will be quite difficult to find a place.

Related: Rental block: what will the Greens accomplish if it goes into effect in Queensland?

Another tenant, who has lived in the building for three years, said he was told to pay an extra $ 70 a week in rent or to vacate the property when his lease expires in December.

“The unit next to me has already become an Airbnb. I see people coming in and out all the time, “she said.

The owners of the building declined to comment when they were contacted by Guardian Australia.

South Brisbane Greens MP Amy MacMahon said this was not an isolated event and called for reforms to address long-term housing shortages across the city.

“Evicting long-term tenants and turning an apartment building into a short-stay hotel in the midst of a housing crisis is quite scandalous,” MacMahon said.

“We’ve heard stories from all over the electorate about people seeing their apartments turned into short-term accommodation for wealthy tourists.

“In view of the 2032 Olympics, this is something we will probably see more and more.”

This year Brisbane City Council announced a 50% rate hike for homeowners who list their properties as short-term housing amid a chronic shortage of rental properties. This followed the campaign of the real estate industry’s flagship agency, REIQ,

Although the move was presented as an incentive for landlords to make properties available for long-term housing, some in the social services sector fear that focusing the debate on the impact of short-term housing distracts from the underlying problem, which is a chronic lack of affordable housing.

Susan Wheeldon, Airbnb’s country manager for Australia and New Zealand, said in response to the council’s rate hike that such a move would increase financial pressures on owners already struggling with rising interest rates and l ‘inflation.

“Hosting helps many Australians stay afloat and make ends meet in the face of rising cost of living,” he said.

Related: Australia’s regional housing boom slows, but housing stress remains a major concern

Wheeldon also said the rate hikes “would hurt guests who rely on short-stay accommodation to travel affordably to Brisbane.”

“Short-term rentals generally represent a small part of the Australian housing market.”

MacMahon said Brisbane City Council’s response to doubling rates for Airbnbs was “a drop in the ocean” and would not prevent wealthy investors from supporting short-term housing.

“If Brisbane City Council is serious about it, it could place time limits on Airbnbs at 90 days a year and enforce permits,” he said.

“This would be a really easy way to turn those properties from short-term housing into long-term homes.”

A spokesman for Brisbane’s Liberal National mayor Adrian Schrinner accused the Greens of “constantly opposing the construction of new homes while simultaneously complaining about the affordability and availability of housing.”

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