Airbnb owners and other short-term rental accommodation providers will be offered nation-leading incentives of $10,000 to make their properties available to long-term tenants in Western Australia.
The scheme is part of a slew of changes introduced by the Labor government to boost housing supply and regulate the growing short-term rental market.
Community groups say the strategy could double the state’s rental housing supply.
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Premier Roger Cook said short-term rentals had made some local neighbourhoods and communities less desirable places for people to live.
“They (also) have an impact upon the availability of long-term rental accommodation,” he told reporters on Thursday.
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“So it’s important that we bring this back into balance.”
Cook said the new rules addressed the rights of people who wanted to put their properties up for short-term rental and the needs of the broader community, including the tourism industry and local government areas.
All short-term rental accommodation providers will be required to register their properties before being able to advertise and take bookings, including from online platforms such as Airbnb and Stayz.
Planning requirements in the Perth metropolitan area will also be changed, with local government approval required for un-hosted short-term rental accommodation that operates for more than 90 nights in 12 months.
Local governments in regional areas will determine when planning approval is required.
Registrations are expected to open in mid-2024, with all short-term rental properties to be registered by January 1, 2025.
How to qualify
To qualify for the $10,000 payment, property owners need to have had an entire property for rent on short-stay booking platforms within the previous six weeks.
Applicants will also be required to provide a minimum 12-month lease agreement to new, long-term tenants.
A maximum rent chargeable by location will apply to protect those tenants and ensure the new homes are affordable.
This includes a maximum rent of $800 per week in Perth and $650 in the state’s South West.
“We are also doing everything we can to get more housing and rental properties onto the market quickly to help meet current demand,” Cook said.
Airbnb owners and other short-term rental accommodation providers will be offered nation-leading incentives to make their properties available to long-term tenants in WA. Credit: AP
Victoria introduced a statewide 7.5 per cent consumer levy on short-term accommodation bookings with platforms such as Airbnb and Stayz in September.
NSW requires most short-term accommodation hosts to register their properties, with a 180-day annual cap for un-hosted short-term accommodation in the Greater Sydney region and some regional areas.
The popular coastal holiday town of Byron Bay will introduce a 60-day annual cap on short-term rentals in September 2024.
Queensland completed a short-term accommodation review in August and is considering creating a register of Airbnb, Stayz and short-term rentals.
Some Tasmanian short-term accommodation providers are required to apply for a local council permit to operate and booking platforms must collect hosts’ planning permission information.
Airbnb Australia public policy head Michael Crosby welcomed WA’s new regulations but questioned whether the incentive scheme would be effective.
He said short-term rentals were a small percentage of the total housing stock in WA.
“Housing issues have existed long before the founding of Airbnb, and targeting these properties is not a long-term solution,” he said.
Shelter WA chief executive Kath Snell said there were about three short-term rentals for every private rental currently listed in WA.
“If these reforms incentivise just one-quarter of the Airbnbs into rental housing that will literally double the current rental supply,” she said.
There were 1739 rental properties listed for rent in Perth in the week ending November 5, according to the Real Estate Institute of WA.
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