Holiday rental gives hope to family in limbo

Christie Pollard (right) with her daughter Miriam, 9, and real estate agent Simone Knight (left) at their Burleigh Heads home. Picture: Nigel Hallett
SHORT-term rentals have been targeted for contributing to the housing crisis, but for some families they are a solution.
Christie and Sam Pollard are letting their Burleigh Heads home for three months while they travel, and applicants include a family caught out by the city’s housing crisis.
The Pollards’ three-bedroom house will be leased fully furnished from August to October for $895 a week – including electricity, Wifi and pool maintenance – through Simone Knight of Burleigh Properties GC.
Ms Pollard said they were taking an extended caravan trip around Australia with their two daughters, Cassia, 11, and Miriam, 9, and didn’t want to leave the property empty while so many people were struggling to find a home.
The family is ready for adventure . Picture: Nigel Hallett
“We wanted to give our kids the experience of seeing more of the country, but we would prefer not to leave the house vacant,” she said.
“If we can help another family out by putting our home onto the rental market then that is a bonus for us, and the rental income will go towards funding our holiday.”
The Australian Bureau of Statistics found one million homes were empty across Australia on Census night in 2021. One in five of those were in Queensland.
Short-term landlords have been blamed for withholding housing from the long-term rental pool, with Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner last month announcing that hosts posting their properties on platforms such as Airbnb would be slugged with higher council rates.
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But Ms Knight said short-term rentals could provide accommodation – albeit temporary – to those most in need.
“I wanted to offer a new approach to the rental crisis and that is why I am one of the only local agents who will take on properties for a short three-month lease, as well as the standard six and 12-month lease options,” she said.
“One of the families applying for the Burleigh property is in limbo with the delays to construction and needs accommodation while they wait for their house to be built.
Veggie gardens at the property
“They couldn’t afford the higher rates that come with Airbnb fees but they don’t want to commit to a longer lease with the uncertainty around when the build of their new home will be completed.”
Ms Knight said families who had recently moved and were looking to purchase a property also wanted shorter leases.

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