06/12/2021 - 15:32

Register mooted for short-stay providers

06/12/2021 - 15:32


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Properties used for short-term accommodation could be listed on a state-wide register as part of newly proposed reforms for the burgeoning sector.

Register mooted for short-stay providers
Rita Saffioti and John Carey emphasised the need for a state-wide registration system. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Properties advertised on short-term accommodation provider platforms like Airbnb could be listed on a state-wide register as part of newly proposed reforms for the burgeoning sector.

That follows a state parliamentary inquiry into the short-term accomodation sector led by Jessica Shaw, chair of the economics and industry standing committee.

The state government confirmed in February 2020 that it would adopt most of the recommendations that come out of that inquiry, with Planning Minister Rita Saffioti acknowledging the sector’s value while calling for protocols to support traditional accommodation providers.

Today’s announcement concerns the introduction of a new planning framework for short-term accommodation providers as well as a registration system for providers themselves.

Other proposals include approval exemptions for properties that are rented out for a designated number of days per year, with the possibility that property owners who live on their premises while hosting guests may be exempt from seeking development approvals.

Ms Saffioti today said the state government is implementing initiatives to better manage the sector and provide greater certainty to the tourism industry.

“We also want to ensure consistency across different local governments and help support them to better regulate and govern short-term accommodation providers within their area," she said.

John Carey, the state’s local government minister, said building a registration system that encompasses more than 130 local governments would be a complex process, necessitating further consultation.

“While significant work is still required to understand how such a registration system would operate, it would help ensure owners are compliant with regulations,” he said.

Bradley Woods, chief executive of the Australian Hotels Association WA, called the release of the position paper an important step for the state to take, claiming many Western Australians could not afford to live in places where available properties have been taken off the long-term rental market.

“Mandatory registration is a baseline requirement being adopted in jurisdictions around the world," he said.

“Setting a generous limit on the number of days unhosted properties can be let before a development approval is required will ensure residential homes remain as such and community amenity is protected.”


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