24/01/2006 - 21:00

City of Perth looks to short-stay policy

24/01/2006 - 21:00

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The City of Perth has issued a draft policy on short-stay accommodation after apartment owners, the Australian Hotels Association and corporate accommodation providers last year pushed for clarification on their rights.

The City of Perth has issued a draft policy on short-stay accommodation after apartment owners, the Australian Hotels Association and corporate accommodation providers last year pushed for clarification on their rights.

Late last year, the City of Perth unanimously approved a move to create a policy that outlines the minimum standards required when using residential accommodation as a short stay or serviced facility.

“The city has become aware of a trend towards the diversification of the special residential market and the change of use of existing residential buildings from permanent residential apartments to short-term and serviced accommodation,” the draft policy says.

Recommendations made by the council in the draft policy include: a change-of-use requiring planning approval; using separate floors for short-term and permanent accommodation; and minimum management requirements.

Executive Apartments director Graham Nicol, whose company leases 120 apartments on behalf of investors on a short-stay basis, said there had been a drive by local councils to crack down on short-stay accommodation in recent years. He said he was pleased the City of Perth was dealing with the issue.

“We understand the policy is a work in progress, but it certainly is a document we can work with,” Mr Nicol told WA Business News.

Mr Nicol said other local councils also needed to look at the issue, singling out South Perth in particular.

“Short-stay apartments have a legitimate role to play, especially for the corporate traveller,” he said. “They fill a niche not provided for by hotels, and the area needs to be clarified and regulated.”

Australian Hotels Association WA executive director, Bradley Woods, told WA Business News last year his organisation had been trying to get the issue addressed for some time.

“There are no clear guidelines about short-stay accommodation, and policing is a problem too,” he said last November.

“There needs to be a state-wide approach, and town planning provisions need to be altered to deal with this problem.”

Mr Woods said drawing a distinction between tourist and corporate travellers would be very difficult and that the rules should be the same for both.

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