Strata living “is a life style” sounds glib but in Sydney alone, over the past four and a half years, there has been over 20% increase in the number of apartments. These include both owner occupied and investment apartments. Apartments range from functional to luxurious. The commonality is they involve people living near each other. That can work and sometimes it doesn’t. We like to believe in most cases people enjoy apartment living or at least live and let live. Like life, apartment living has its ups and downs, twists and turns. The thing is, as mentioned at the start, this lifestyle is a growing thing just like Sydney which now has a population and of over 5 million and growing.
There is a move afoot to amalgamation of councils. This too has attracted quite some attention. Remember way back when Sydney City Council swallowed up South Sydney. Didn’t that create a hue and cry with many for and those against. Lots of people fear change sometimes for good reasons and sometimes because people fear change and upsetting the applecart.
Remember the saying “the bigger they are the harder they fall.” Apply logic, the bigger the council the more voters. The more voters the more possibility to influence. Mega councils have a bigger number of voters. Look what happened in the States when disenfranchised angry people were listened too. Is your council listening to the debate about short term letting? More logic we think there is a chance they will if enough voters shout from the rafters.
Clashes between the lifestylers/residents who want to enjoy all the advantages of apartment living and the investors/Airbnb types who want a good return on their investment are on the rise and set to continue.
Like it or lump it, the prospect of your local council loosening the strings to allow short term letting such as Airbnb is becoming more a reality than a prospect.
There is growing voice calling the state government and councils to do something to stop the growth of short term letting but representations to councils have fallen on deaf ears.
We can commend an article and piece by Nicole Chette and Rayeen Hunjaian of the ABC 19 October 2016 and which can be found here
Recently we came across residents that let their apartment. The tenants who on the face of it appeared attractive with high disposable incomes set up an apartment anyone would be proud to live in. Not long after they moved in, they were taking extended holidays. During those breaks, they “sublet” to short term stayers. The owner did not know and for a while neighbours closed a blind eye. After finding out even the owner closed a blind eye. After all the owner was receiving regular rent. Their property agent got the commission and either they did not know or also closed a blind eye. Everything was well with the world until adjoining residents could not sleep at night, recycling garbage disposal went down the drain sometimes literally. Not to mention the trashing of the “resort facilities” in the block. Long hard costly battles ensued and eventually the owner got rid of the tenants and long term letting resumed. But it was not just the damage to the apartment and common areas that required repair.
There are wonderful developments emerging in Sydney such as Green Square where it is expected something over 50,000 residents will live in or around. A development like Green Square sits 10 kms south of the city centre and is smack on the train line to the city and airport. It will offer all the facilities one would expect in a luxury holiday resort. It will be interesting to see how such large developments will deal with likelihood of short term letting. In our next blog, we deal with approaches being taken to stem the tide.