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The mysterious locks dangle from a metal frame outside an apartment tower on a grey, bustling street in Melbourne's CBD. There are seven of them, each with numbers or names stuck to them with masking tape, hanging from a guard which circles the street tree.

So what are they?

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Airbnb has joined with with the Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs to welcome new legislation to deal with bad actors and isolated incidents of unruly behavior in home sharing and the short term rental market across the state.

The rules allow the tens of thousands of Airbnb hosts across Victoria to get on with doing a great job of providing fabulous hospitality, welcoming guests and travellers into their homes and communities - while also dealing with the rare, isolated incidents of unwelcome party houses and people doing the wrong thing.

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By JimmyT

Things are getting serious down in Victoria where the We Live Here movement – set up to curb the unfettered spread of short-term lets into residential apartment blocks – has launched a change.org petition against short term letting in residential buildings.

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Owners can no longer rent whole properties to tourists, as officals blame websites including Airbnb, Wimdu and 9Flats for driving up rents.

Berlin began restricting private property rentals through Airbnb and similar online platforms on Sunday, threatening hefty fines in an attempt to keep housing affordable for local people.

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By Tom Bacon

As we all can tell just from looking out our windows, high-rise buildings now make up the predominant form of new housing in the Melbourne inner-suburb areas.

Local and state governments have implemented changes to planning legislation to permit high-density housing in an effort to combat the pressures of maintaining and repairing a sprawling infrastructure asset base.

AIRBNB hosts will be targeted by the Australian Taxation Office this year if they fail to declare any income generated through the sharing website.

Last May the ATO released advice on the implications of the sharing economy, confirming the existing rules apply regardless of how a rental house or room is advertised.

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The We Live Here Movement is certainly gaining great momentum since its public launch on 14 December 2015. However, as well as momentum, the We Live Here Movement is also showing strength of purpose over a broadening range of issues of importance to Docklands residents and owners.

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A new Docklands-founded advocacy group aims to tackle issues facing inner-city residential apartment dwellers.

Known as “We Live Here”, the group was established at a meeting in Docklands in December.

Group convener Barbara Francis is also the owners’ corporation chair at the Watergate apartment complex, which has been leading the fight against short-stay apartments in residential buildings.

Ms Francis said that, while short-stays was an urgent and pressing issue, the group would advocate for reforms in others areas too.

“Our motivation was to reclaim our building as our home,” Ms Francis said. “It’s time our voices were heard.”

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Apartment block residents fear they are about to be “sold down the river like the taxi drivers” over the NSW government’s enthusiasm for the shared economy.

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Airbnb, Stayz, Gumtree and other online holiday letting agencies may be opening up local homes to tens of thousands of happy holidaymakers, but they are also bringing anger, misery and frustration to the residents of hundreds of high-rise buildings.

Cut-price holidays are forcing up residential rents, hammering the hotel trade and turning people’s homes into hotels, critics say. And the people suffering most are the owners and tenants in apartment blocks on the fringes of Sydney’s city centre. A recent Fairfax Media survey of the spread of Airbnb and other short-term rentals highlighted the serious threat that online holiday letting agencies are posing to apartment buildings in Sydney.

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About We Live Here

 

We Live Here is a recently launched advocacy and lobby movement focussing on generating legislative change to protect owners and long-term residents living in high-density areas. The movement aims to give a voice to and protect the rights of these owners and long term residents, and to tackle issues that are not being adequately addressed.

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