As wonderful as it was to read the article ‘Crackdown planned for lying short-stay accommodation providers[1] it is really only half the story.

There is another rather sad and darker side.

Before Louise Bloomfield nominated as a candidate for Deputy Major and Alderman for the Hobart city council she spent months attending council meetings as part of her due diligence.

‘I wanted to see how best I could contribute to Council and represent the rate-payers’ views’ she explained.

It was during those meetings Louise Bloomfield witnessed political decision making that she felt was not always in the best interest of ratepayers.

On the 21st of May within the planning section of the meeting two applications for the short term accommodation permit were put forward.  One application was located in Battery Point , the other in Mount Stuart.[2]

Both were recommended for approval by the planning authority and they were submitted to council for final consideration.

Neither residence had a parking space on the property for the tenant.  This left them designated as ‘-2 car spaces’ for a residential property. This is within the allowable tolerance for parking planning.

Converting them to short term residency reduced the requirement for parking to one parking space per property – meaning that their non-compliance for parking both in fact improved.  (Both become designated as ‘-1 car spaces’ per property)

The predominately green Aldermen of the Hobart City Council decided to vote to DISALLOW both properties to be approved for short term accommodation.

Louise Bloomfield went on to explain ‘Trying to challenge this appalling decision, Alderman Marti Zucco declared to the other Aldermen that this decision was well outside legal precedent and would be a surety for any appeal made on either application to win against the Hobart City Council.  He went on to clearly explain that the cost of such a loss would be substantial to the Council.’

Despite this, both applications were refused leaving the applicants no ability to trade on AirBnb or any other short stay system, despite having made every reasonable care and met all the obligations.

Louise Bloomfield has worked with several clients years prior to the existance of AirBnb and confirmed that applications can carry quite a cost for the applicant just to meet the requirements set by council. In some instances, over $10,000.

[1] https://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/crackdown-planned-for-lying-shortstay-accommodation-providers/news-story/9830a1d9c45e59de33117f37f10ed38e

[2] http://hobart.infocouncil.biz/Open/2018/05/CO_21052018_MIN_926_WEB.htm

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