Short-Stay Accommodation – Win for the Sector

[L-R] Shelter WA Policy Officer Dr Klaudia Mierswa and Acting Chief Executive Officer Lisa Kazalac.

The Economics and Industry Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly tabled their final report on the Inquiry into short-stay accommodation in Western Australia on Thursday 26 September 2019.

Launched last year, the inquiry has been investigating the rise of short stay accommodation in WA and received over 260 submissions into this issue. Some of the concerns raised by stakeholder groups and individuals included customer safety, insurance, land use planning, building standards, stay length, neighbourhood amenity, registration, licensing and taxation and impact on rental affordability.

Shelter WA is pleased to see that the majority of our recommendations in our two submissions, as well as our public hearing evidence have been incorporated into the Committee’s final report. This is a great outcome for Shelter WA’s advocacy into an issue that is impacting rental affordability in WA. In our initial submission (and supplementary submission) Shelter WA argued that the short-stay accommodation sector is reshaping housing tenure and structure in private markets through direct affordability impacts in localised areas and by distorting the role of residential housing from being a home to a commercial venture.

In June, Shelter WA Acting Chief Executive Officer Lisa Kazalac, and Policy Officer Dr Klaudia Mierswa discussed the impact that short-stay accommodation can have on housing affordability with Inquiry Members Jessica Shaw MLA, Chair of the Economics and Industry Standing Committee; Yaz Mubarakai MLA, Member for Jandakot; Sean L’Estrange MLA, Member for Churchlands and Stephen Price MLA, Member for Forrestfield.

Watch the video here

The Standing Committee has made 10 detailed recommendations that include:

• The education of the real estate sector on their obligations towards truthful marketing of short-term rent prospects, the importance of short-term rental as part of pre-purchase due diligence and other legal obligations.

• The planning system to amend a raft of regulations in the Local Planning Schemes to address land use for short-term rentals, definitions of bed and breakfast and guidance for local councils on how to regulate short-term rentals.

• The development of model by-laws to assist strata companies to better manage short-term rentals in a strata scheme and provide guidance on powers and processes open to strata companies to manage short-term rentals.

• The creation of an interdepartmental working group to coordinate a whole-of-government policy response to short-stay accommodation in WA.

• That online platforms are required through regulation to provide data on all short-term rental properties listed in WA to the relevant government agency.

• The relevant Minister introduce a state-wide registration scheme for short-term rentals.

• That online platforms are required through regulation to provide data on all short-term rental properties listed in WA to the relevant government agency.

• The relevant Minister introduce a state-wide registration scheme for short-term rentals.

FEB 2020 UPDATE: The State Government released their response to the Parliamentary Inquiry in February 2020. Shelter WA was pleased to see that the State Government has responded positively to the recommendations of the Legislative Assembly Inquiry into short-stay accommodation, by committing to adopt most of the recommendations.