Displaying items by tag: AirBNB

Hot Property - November

Possum Creek - top end

This property is built on a high spot in magical Possum Creek with great northerly rural views. EOI stands for Expression Of Interest and it is looking for someone to express an interest that starts with a "4" followed by six zeros, at least. Ticks all the boxes for a top end lifestyle - 5 bedroom, 4 bathrooms, studio, orchard, 80 acres, close to town but private. 

 Wategos - top end #2

This three bedroom house with adjoining villa is currently listed in Wategos Beach. It is an established Holiday Let property with an income of $200,000 PA. It was purchased in 2003 by London based surveyor, Charles Lee. He was in Oz following the Rugby World Cup, visited Byron and fell in love - as you do. It is listed by LJ Hooker Byron and looking for offers between $6 - 6.5M.

Lighthouse Road - Top End #3

A Mortgagee in Possession auction coming up on Lighthouse Road will be interesting. This is one of the last of the old houses along Lighthouse Road on the way to Wategos. These properties have perfect north views looking over the Pass and the hinterland. Renovations or rebuilds along this premium strip have been getting over $6M sales. 

Mullumbimby - mid range

My favourite part of Mullumbimby, north of town and south of the river, has had a bit of activity. There have been a few sales but not as surprising as the ones at New City Road which went for well over market expectations. 2 Tyagerah Street, original home on a large block, went for $795,000 at auction the previous weekend. There is another property in this area which has good potential and is listed off-market for offers over $750,000. 

Vacant Land, Wilsons Creek

Hen's teeth are easy at the moment compared to small acreages. This one just listed in Wilson's Creek - 5 acres for $500,000 with creek frontage.

Lismore, Casino, Kyogle

Property valuation firm Herron Todd White (HTW) have placed a firm "buy" notice on these three Northern Rivers  locations. I tend to agree with them. The low purchase price (under $300,000) plus the reasonable rents (at least 5%) make them interesting especially as other, more coastal, markets stay strong.

Alternative Digs

1. Dream Domes

This company in Billinudgel has been making dome dwellings for many years. The Dreamdome is a modular prefabricated building system. They are offering the first 22 people a discount price on the Dreamdome model to get the new product out there and be tested in the market place. 

RENDER DOME 5M DESERT 963x475 1

 

2. Glamping 

"Glamping" is all the rage around the world so we have to have it here in groovy Byron. "Glamorous Camping" is soon to pop up at the Byron Holiday Park between Byron and Suffolk this Xmas. Local accomodation provider, Cameron Arnold, already has a history of Glamping at the Falls and Splendour Festivals so this is not such a stretch. The luxury tents will be fully catered with a pop up restaurant and bar from Harvest cafe.

Title Tattle

Sydney property developer and major land owner of the West Byron development site, Terry Agnew, is in the news. His iconic Sydney home in Bellevue Hill is on the market for an expected $70M. "Rona" is a gothic style residence built in 1883 on an acre and a half. The Agnews have completed extensive renovation. Agnew is also the owner of the adjacent property on Ewingsdale Road as his company purchased the old chicken factory off the Ingham family for an estimated $3M. He became the majority owner of the West Byron site after most of the original local owners took their bat and ball and went home after facing too much local resistance. 

The sale of "Rona" will easily surpass in cost another Sydney property with a Byron Bay connection. Altona, previously Sydney's most expensive home in Point Piper, sold for $46M by Wategos beach resident, Deke Miskin. That sale is now in the news again as it was sold by a Chinese born real estate agent. It looks like the agent put the sale in the name of her mother's name to save the mainland Chinese billionaire, Mr Wang, not having to go through the Foreign Investor Revue Board. The mother got the land tax bill and other complications and now everyone involved is in a world of pain. 

Win for AirBNB

Short term holiday letting in NSW got a boost recently. The Legislative Assembly Committee on Environment and Planning spent 18 months looking into the industry. The report just released said that the industry is "operating successfully" and "with the right amount of legislation and compliance regime, can be operated in residential areas". Byron Shire at least us well advanced on this issue with what is hopefully a successfully negotiated compromise between residents and HLO (Holiday Let Organisation).

Read more...

Big Brother books into AirBNB

The Conversation

Will the Taxman come after you if you AirBNB?

This is a good question for many here in the Byron Bay who have warmly embraced the sharing economy.

I have pasted this whole article below from Property Observer. It is very well written and provides good detail on the dilemma facing both AirBNB hosts and the ATO as they try to work out what to do. The "robo-debt recovery service" employed by Centrelink recently could also be put to work by the ATO to gather land tax from homeowners doing a bit of renting on the side. Is big brother booking your bedrooms?

 

Australian homeowners who have been sharing their homes for profit using Airbnb, or like services, could be subject to the same “robo-debt” recovery services that have targeted Centrelink recipients. 

This is problematic because of ongoing uncertainties about the legal relationship between owner and Airbnb guest, and whether or when the property can be subject to land tax. Despite this, owners are receiving automated notices and may possibly be admitting liabilities and paying fines they shouldn’t. 

Until recently, governments, especially in Australia, have tended to be cautious and conservative in response to the sharing economy. That is not just because of the long-standing inability of regulatory systems to keep pace with technology, but also because of the threat of disruption to traditional industries and those who work in them. Despite this conservatism, the shift to a sharing economy has had a sense of inevitability about it. 

Airbnb has had perhaps the most long-standing and significant influence in Australia, in most cases prior to any specific legislation being created to regulate it. And if trade and commerce are free of regulation, they are also free of government control, protection and taxation. In many cases legislators are still to work out how to regulate or tax this new economic model.  

This Notice of a Data Matching Program shows the ATO casts a wide net (click to enlarge), and the results are shared with state revenue offices.Commonwealth Government Gazette

While some arms of government, such as lawmakers, may have struggled to keep up with the information revolution, others, such as law enforcers, have not. Over the past decade, state and Commonwealth agencies have worked together to develop data aggregation and data-matching systems into a powerful regulatory surveillance tool. 

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO), for instance, reportedly data-matches some 600 million pieces of data. It shares the results with state revenue offices (which are responsible for land tax). These offices aggregate the ATO data with their own records along with data from other agencies, such as rental bond authorities, electoral rolls and apparently publicly available information.

The volume of data is massive, and limited only by the power of the computers used to identify target behaviour.

It is very likely, however, that state revenue offices can identify (see, for instance, here, here and here) when houses are being used for income-generating purposes (especially when owners declare that income as required to the ATO).

What’s the problem with this?

The problem is that the law is hardly certain on whether homeowners do owe land tax on short-term lodging arrangements like Airbnb. While each state and territory differs in the approach to land tax, the general rule is that a person’s principal place of residence is exempt. Land tax generally applies only to investment/second properties or commercial premises. 

A landowner can do a number of things with their property – including generating revenue there – without turning it into a commercial premise. To think otherwise would mean parents who charged their adult children board would suddenly see their home treated as a business operation – and so would people receiving compensation for hosting home-stay students, or allowing a house cleaner or au pair to live in the house in exchange for reduced wages.

In fact, current laws are relatively nuanced when it comes to working out when a house is being used as a “principal residence” and when it is a “residential tenancy” or commercial premises. It requires looking at a range of factors, weighing them up, and ultimately working out if the owner is in exclusive occupation of the property for their own domestic purposes (even if they make some money there). 

If a person staying in the house does not undermine the exclusive occupation and control of the overall property, then they are a lodger and the home is a principal residence. 

If they do (for instance, because they have a separate lock on the door and can exclude the landlord), they are a residential tenant. The part of the property they occupy is then not the principal residence of the owner. 

Data matching struggles with nuances

Such nuances are beyond the current scope of automated computer data-matching systems. And the problem with Airbnb is that every single home-stay arrangement is different. 

In some circumstances, a guest may stay only a day or so, sharing common areas, probably not getting a lock on their door (maybe even staying on the fold-out bed in the living room). In other circumstances, the relationship may resemble more of a residential tenancy, taking possession of the whole house for much longer periods. 

The other problem is that many landowners will have been operating under the assumption that they do not owe land tax on their homes. As a result, state tax offices face a dilemma: leave Airbnb alone until the law catches up, or make judgments on thousands of home-sharing arrangements to determine whether they are lodging arrangements or residential tenancies. 

Some revenue offices appear to have opted for the latter course. And they have dealt with the logistical problem, as Centrelink has done, by employing robo-debt-like approaches.

Caught in the data dragnet

As an illustration, in Tasmania, the approach involves using evidence from the dragnet for information that the property is being advertised for accommodation, or that it is generating income. If this is the conclusion, the homeowner is issued with an investigation notice. 

The investigation notice requires, under the force of statutory penalty, that the homeowner provide information relating to current and prior home use. Based on the information from these sources, it is then suggested that the principal place of residence of the titled and resident owner was only part of the building. This leaves the remainder of the property valued for land tax purposes, with the owner then potentially liable.

We suspect that many homeowners receiving the letters do not choose to contact a lawyer. Instead, they pay fines ranging from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. Those who do challenge the assessments face extended uncertainty and expense. 

An additional problem in this area is that state revenue rulings are not recorded and publicised like Australian Tax Office rulings. This means we don’t know how many successful or unsuccessful challenges there have been. It also means many tax lawyers and accountants may be unaware of the risk to homeowners who provide home-sharing arrangements. 

What should Airbnb hosts do?

People who have received such letters should definitely consult with a lawyer with expertise in state tax.

Those who haven’t received notices but who are hosting Airbnb guests, or intend to, should still seek tax advice, preferably from someone legally trained. Given the ease with which people can advertise parts of their homes on Airbnb, it can be easy to forget that you are entering into a business transaction and generating income. Homeowners should protect themselves in advance.

State governments should reflect on this too. While it is legitimate to earn revenue from the sharing economy, the inherent unfairness of retrospectively penalising people who reasonably believed that their homes didn’t attract land tax is palpable. 

Using automated software to “efficiently” achieve this aim by removing the human element is even more unfair. The practice really should stop until the law is modified to make the system more transparent, fair and, it might be argued, human.

Brendan Gogarty is lecturer in Law, University of Tasmania and author for The Conversation.

Lynden Griggs is senior lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania and author for The Conversation.

Read more...

Hot Property - November

Possum Creek - top end

This property is built on a high spot in magical Possum Creek with great northerly rural views. EOI stands for Expression Of Interest and it is looking for someone to express an interest that starts with a "4" followed by six zeros, at least. Ticks all the boxes for a top end lifestyle - 5 bedroom, 4 bathrooms, studio, orchard, 80 acres, close to town but private. 

 Wategos - top end #2

This three bedroom house with adjoining villa is currently listed in Wategos Beach. It is an established Holiday Let property with an income of $200,000 PA. It was purchased in 2003 by London based surveyor, Charles Lee. He was in Oz following the Rugby World Cup, visited Byron and fell in love - as you do. It is listed by LJ Hooker Byron and looking for offers between $6 - 6.5M.

Lighthouse Road - Top End #3

A Mortgagee in Possession auction coming up on Lighthouse Road will be interesting. This is one of the last of the old houses along Lighthouse Road on the way to Wategos. These properties have perfect north views looking over the Pass and the hinterland. Renovations or rebuilds along this premium strip have been getting over $6M sales. 

Mullumbimby - mid range

My favourite part of Mullumbimby, north of town and south of the river, has had a bit of activity. There have been a few sales but not as surprising as the ones at New City Road which went for well over market expectations. 2 Tyagerah Street, original home on a large block, went for $795,000 at auction the previous weekend. There is another property in this area which has good potential and is listed off-market for offers over $750,000. 

Vacant Land, Wilsons Creek

Hen's teeth are easy at the moment compared to small acreages. This one just listed in Wilson's Creek - 5 acres for $500,000 with creek frontage.

Lismore, Casino, Kyogle

Property valuation firm Herron Todd White (HTW) have placed a firm "buy" notice on these three Northern Rivers  locations. I tend to agree with them. The low purchase price (under $300,000) plus the reasonable rents (at least 5%) make them interesting especially as other, more coastal, markets stay strong.

Alternative Digs

1. Dream Domes

This company in Billinudgel has been making dome dwellings for many years. The Dreamdome is a modular prefabricated building system. They are offering the first 22 people a discount price on the Dreamdome model to get the new product out there and be tested in the market place. 

RENDER DOME 5M DESERT 963x475 1

 

2. Glamping 

"Glamping" is all the rage around the world so we have to have it here in groovy Byron. "Glamorous Camping" is soon to pop up at the Byron Holiday Park between Byron and Suffolk this Xmas. Local accomodation provider, Cameron Arnold, already has a history of Glamping at the Falls and Splendour Festivals so this is not such a stretch. The luxury tents will be fully catered with a pop up restaurant and bar from Harvest cafe.

Title Tattle

Sydney property developer and major land owner of the West Byron development site, Terry Agnew, is in the news. His iconic Sydney home in Bellevue Hill is on the market for an expected $70M. "Rona" is a gothic style residence built in 1883 on an acre and a half. The Agnews have completed extensive renovation. Agnew is also the owner of the adjacent property on Ewingsdale Road as his company purchased the old chicken factory off the Ingham family for an estimated $3M. He became the majority owner of the West Byron site after most of the original local owners took their bat and ball and went home after facing too much local resistance. 

The sale of "Rona" will easily surpass in cost another Sydney property with a Byron Bay connection. Altona, previously Sydney's most expensive home in Point Piper, sold for $46M by Wategos beach resident, Deke Miskin. That sale is now in the news again as it was sold by a Chinese born real estate agent. It looks like the agent put the sale in the name of her mother's name to save the mainland Chinese billionaire, Mr Wang, not having to go through the Foreign Investor Revue Board. The mother got the land tax bill and other complications and now everyone involved is in a world of pain. 

Win for AirBNB

Short term holiday letting in NSW got a boost recently. The Legislative Assembly Committee on Environment and Planning spent 18 months looking into the industry. The report just released said that the industry is "operating successfully" and "with the right amount of legislation and compliance regime, can be operated in residential areas". Byron Shire at least us well advanced on this issue with what is hopefully a successfully negotiated compromise between residents and HLO (Holiday Let Organisation).

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed
spacer
Byron Property Search
Call at any reasonable time!
Michael Murray:
0428 555 501
Office:
(02) 6684 1744
8/42 Bilin Road
Myocum Byron Bay 2481
 
Newsletter

  1. First Name(*)
    Please let us know your name.
  2. Last Name(*)
    Please let us know your name.
  3. Your Email(*)
    Please let us know your email address.
RebaaLong
Buy with confidence
REBAA Real Estate Buyer’s Agency Association is Australia’s national body of professional, exclusive buyer’s agents. When using a REBAA certified agent you can be assured of quality and integrity.
 

 

 spacer