Short-Stay Accommodation

20,000 owners of short-term rental properties must now register their details

Shelter WA is 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.

In our evidence to the Legislative Assembly’s public hearing last June, Shelter WA called for a light touch regulatory system be introduced for all short-stay accommodation options listed on portals like Airbnb. This is a good first step to ensuring a level playing field for commercial and individual operators and a system for collecting base line data on the extent of private rentals existing the rental system that can impact the availability of affordable rental options.

Short-stay is reshaping housing tenure

The inquiry, which began in 2018, investigated the rise of short-stay accommodation in WA and received over 260 submissions into this issue.

In Shelter WA’s initial submission (and supplementary submission), we argued that the short-stay accommodation sector is reshaping housing tenure and structure in private housing markets. There are direct effects on affordability, particularly in localised areas, tourism specific areas and by distorting the role of residential housing from being a home to a commercial venture.

Recommendations will create greater certainty

Led by Jessica Shaw MLA, this inquiry presented 10 recommendations to improve outdated and inconsistent policy governing short-term rentals, and create greater certainty for the tourism industry, accommodation providers and guests.

The inquiry found that short-term rentals are a genuine income source for some people and are increasingly widely used by guests; however, there was no regulation of the industry and numerous examples of adverse impacts on neighbours and local communities. The State Government adopted a whole-of-Government approach to the recommendations.

At least 20,000 owners of short-term rental properties must now register their details with an interagency working group established by the State Government to guide local governments and accommodation providers through the registration system.

Other actions the Government will take include:

• amending land use definitions to differentiate between hosted and un-hosted accommodation.
• investigating the introduction deemed provisions into all planning schemes for hosted accommodation to be exempt from local government approval.
• developing legislative or regulatory mechanisms to require the display of a valid registration number for short-term rentals advertised on online platforms.
• updating strata title guidance to include powers and processes open to strata companies to manage short-term rentals; and
• development of an education campaign to ensure owners, property managers and purchasers are aware of their obligations regarding short-term rental properties.

Read the full report including the recommendations here.