Jen Barnett rents a room to travellers through Airbnb for a small commission of less than 5%.
Jen Barnett rents a room to travellers through Airbnb for a small commission of less than 5%. Alistair Brightman

Homeowners opening doors to travellers via website

RESIDENTS are welcoming visitors from across the globe into their homes to make new friends and earn a quick buck on the side.

The homeowners attract guests through the Airbnb website, which is popular worldwide for providing travellers with accommodation alternatives to hotels, campsites and hostels.

A $60 stay at Jen and Nick Barnett's place comes complete with pool access, fresh fruit at breakfast, intelligent conversation and the odd invitation to a barbecue if the chemistry seems right.

The Bay couple has been using airbnb.com for about 18 months.

In that time, they have housed people from across Europe and America after trying the site because they wanted to meet people.

"We wanted to keep in touch with people that travel when we settled down," Ms Barnett said.

"We've actually stayed in Airbnb's ourselves - we went to Noosa recently and we've been to Byron Bay."

Sandy Robbins, 52, who allows travellers to use her entire four-bedroom house for $95 a night, has come across many people who use Airbnb because they hate hotels.

"I don't do it for the money," Ms Robbins said.

"It's just me, I've got this house sitting here empty and I just want others to enjoy it."

Ms Robbins said she often house sits and saw little reason in her property going to waste.

The council says:

  • Residents should contact the council before renting out rooms for short-term accommodation
  • While the council encouraged tourism, Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said people should ensure they could provide adequate parking so there was no congestion in the street and their neighbour's privacy is protected
  • He said in many cases there would probably be no issues but it was better to check first


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