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Public support for holiday rentals
A recent study undertaken by Colmar Bruton Social Research - one of Australia's largest market research firms - investigated the public's perception of and reaction to proposed planning changes to holiday home rentals.

Under the proposed changes, owners of holiday homes will be prevented from renting their property to holiday makers on short-term leases. This will create a precedent in the planning system where owners are allowed to use a property as a holiday home but tenants are not – even though the property would be used for the same purpose regardless of whether the occupant is an owner or a tenant.

Colmar Brunton surveyed 294 respondents aged between 18-65 years old online and over the phone with a series of questions about the proposed changes. The report shows that there is overwhelming support for the continued provision of holiday rental homes and that rules should be the same for both owners and tenants.

86% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: ‘Owners should be allowed to continue renting out their holiday homes.’

71% of respondents agreed or agreed strongly with the statement: ‘If an owner can use a holiday home then a tenant should be able to use a holiday home too.’

When asked about the impact on holiday home owners, most respondents felt that the proposed change was unfair on the grounds that owners would lose the right to control the usage of their own properties and gave responses such as: “It places restrictions on their freedom and a loss of control over their own property.”

Importantly, the study by Colmar Brunton showed that consumers and local economies could be adversely impacted, with respondents expressing concerns:

“It restricts where I can go … if I can’t rent, then I can’t go there anymore.”

“I like to have a particular type of holiday … Sometimes you just need a bit more room and a bit more privacy.”

Colmar Brunton Social Research found that even those who initially supported the proposed policy change changed their mind once learning more about the issue.

The most frequently mentioned words used about the proposed policy change were “ridiculous”, “unfair” and “unreasonable”.

One statement which summed up real fears for our state’s property industry was:

“My goodness. I think it’s absolutely disgusting because it’s going to stop people
from buying investment properties in NSW. It will eventually force people to go
to Victoria or Queensland or South Australia.”

Justin Butterworth, Chair of the REINSW Holiday and Short Term Rentals Chapter, said the survey showed that public opinion supports holiday rentals. “The government should listen to people’s support for this great tradition,” he said. “The public recognises the implications of the proposed planning change.” 

To view the Colmar Bruton report, click here.

To find out more about holiday and short-term rentals, contact REINSW on (02) 9264 2343.