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Thematic Issue: Conceptions of Ownership / General

No Longer Unregulated, but Still Controversial: Home Sharing and the Sharing Economy


Callum Ritchie and Brendan Grigg

The short-term rental accommodation market has experienced incredible growth as a result of technological innovations. This article explores the impact of this phenomenon on property and the concept of ownership in Australia. It does so, first by drawing on Kellen Zale’s framework of sharing, which breaks down the activities associated with the sharing economy and applies it in the Australian context. This helps us understand that in many respects, short-term rental accommodation is better characterised as part of the sharing-for-profit economy. This characterisation explains and justifies the choices that Australian states and territories have made in regulating the short-term rental market. This article also analyses disputes that have arisen in Australia concerning short-term rentals, and concludes that whilst the sharing economy prioritises access to property over ownership of it, property law continues to protect the privilege of ownership.

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(2019) 42(3) UNSWLJ 981: