Back in the wild west of the early 2010s, Airbnbs slayed. To party in a stranger’s house for a cheap as chips price? To escape the barrage of noise complaints that you’d receive at a hotel? To experience the novelty of booking such an experience from your iPhone 5? All of these prospects were the epitome of the Australian dream.
However, 2022’s a very different time. For a multitude of reasons, Airbnb is no longer a resource that caters to your worst jamboree instincts. Additionally, some folks are now questioning whether this service is even all that helpful.
For instance, the Brisbane Times reported that the Brisbane City Council isn’t super pleased with the company. This is because the council believes that Airbnbs are partly responsible for causing the area’s property prices to be really high. In response to this situation, said council has raised the rates of short-stay accommodations by a massive 50%.
The Lord Mayor, Adrian Schrinner, defended this decision by stating, “Right now, the priority is renters.”
Meanwhile, The Sydney Morning Herald has outlined that Randwick City Council also wants to financially penalise Airbnb owners. “Renters are part of our communities,” said Randwick Councillor, Kym Chapple. “And it’s not good enough to stand by as they get priced out of the area they call home or get turfed for lucrative short-term letting.”
“These properties were built as residential properties,” Chapple also noted. “But are then being used as hotel rooms, often with serious impacts on neighbours, services, and the sense of community we value so much in Randwick.”
It’s worth noting that NSW councils were not currently able to change the rates of short-term rental accommodation. Nevertheless, the fact that multiple councils in different states believe that Airbnb is hurting our rental markets and exacerbating the cost of living crisis is very concerning.
This isn’t the only challenge that Airbnb must overcome. According to the ABC, Airbnb officially banned parties at the end of June of this year.
Moreover, some Airbnb guests have recently complained about being asked to do a series of chores before leaving. The Wall Street Journal has noted that some joints have asked their customers to mow their lawns or feed their farm animals.
However, such critiques haven’t hurt Airbnb in the marketplace. While the company’s stock price took a tumble in May of this year, it’s currently chugging along at around $100 USD a pop.
Airbnb may be content with its current position in the Australian cultural landscape. Or, it may be wanting to change its reputation with our councillors and some of its customers alike. But with attacks seemingly on all sides, the service appears to be having its revelence severely squeezed.