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How Australia is handling airbnb, Stayz in a housing crisis

Written by Javed Iqbal

As more Australians find it harder to secure housing and prices of goods and services skyrocket, local and state authorities have aimed their significant legislative weapons at short-term providers.

Some municipalities have raised the prices of properties listed on platforms like airbnb and Stayz, while state governments have set a ceiling on the number of days these properties can be rented out as holiday homes.

Here’s the latest on what rules govern the use of properties for short stays around Australia.

WA still decides, advice intervenes

Broome property owners who plan to rent their homes to us via an online platform must register with the city council.

The Broome Shire Council committed to the changes last month as part of a new planning scheme, which is still awaiting approval from the state planning minister.

Under the previous scheme, shire had no option to approve short-term rental properties to conduct business in areas marked for habitation.

But the new scheme gives the council the power to permit the properties in residential zones as long as the owners seek permission.

A small number of tourists ride a camel train down Cable Beach, near Broome, WA.
Broome’s council says it moved to make the economic operating environment fair to all accommodation providers in the city.(ABC News: Andrew Seabourne)

The council’s argument was that people who ran resorts and hotels paid higher prices, while people who ran short-term rentals had “no restrictions around them”.

Further south, locally laws passed by the city of Busselton have introduced a night curfew for guests and prohibited from leaving dogs unattended.

The rules are part of the second phase of legislative changes that give the city the power to deregister cottages that do not comply with the new code of conduct.

It also requires property managers to respond to inquiries from the public within 12 hours.

Vines in the Margaret River region.
Margaret River’s wineries attract many visitors, and the town of Busselton is moving to regulate how much short-term stays are offered in the region.(ABC South West WA: Anthony Pancia)

The code of conduct for holiday home guests was completed in April and contained a limit on the number of guests after 1 p.m.

It also required the owners to display a sign with the manager’s contact information visible from the street.

The city of Busselton controls the popular tourist regions of Dunsborough, Yallingup and parts of the Margaret River.

WA’s Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries is investigating the implementation of a new nationwide registration system for short-term stays.

Online booking platforms and short-term stay providers are consulted.

Queensland Council raises rates

The stained textured windows in the courtyard kitchen.
In Noosa Shire, a one-time application must be submitted for all existing and new properties operating short-term rentals.(Delivered: Lacey’s Creek Homestead and Vineyard)

Some of Queensland’s largest tourist centers are introducing rules designed to limit the number of properties listed on sites like airbnb and return shares to the long-term rental market.

Brisbane Mayor Adrian Schrinner announced last week that the city council would slam an additional fee of 50 percent on rate bills for properties rented as short-term housing.

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Javed Iqbal

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