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Here’s why WA is offering $10,000 to Airbnb property owners

Here’s why WA is offering $10,000 to Airbnb property owners

WA Airbnb

Property owners in WA could receive $10,000 to list their accommodation as long-term rentals, instead of on ‘short-stay’ accommodation platforms, like Airbnb and Stayz.

The incentive is part of a raft of reforms by the WA Government aimed at addressing the state’s low rental vacancy rate.

Airbnb and Stayz have welcomed some of the Government’s reforms, but are questioning how it will impact holiday/short-term rental supply.

Here’s what’s changing.

Government reforms

The WA Government’s new incentive scheme will target landlords with short-term accommodation properties.

To qualify for the payment, an entire property (not just a room or part of a house), will need to have been listed on a short-stay booking platform, such as Airbnb or Stayz, within the past six weeks.

Rents for these properties will be capped at $800 a week in Perth, and $650 in the state’s South West

The government will also set up a state-wide registry for all short-term accommodation properties.

Owners will need to register their property by 1 January 2025 before they can advertise their properties and make bookings.

Premier Roger Cook said the reforms were needed because “it is impossible to ignore the impact this increasingly popular type of accommodation has had on some local neighbourhoods and communities”.

Housing crisis

CEO of the WA Council of Social Services Louise Giolitto welcomed the changes.

“These reforms will boost housing supply and hopefully reduce the demand on affordable houses for lower income families,” she said.

Fewer than 1% of homes in the Perth metro area are available. Data shows the vacancy rate is lower in some regional WA communities.

Short-stay response

Airbnb said the reforms will “allow the Government to make informed decisions based on accurate data”.

However, Airbnb and Stayz questioned how the $10,000 offer for property owners would expand the rental market. Airbnb said it’s “unlikely to make a significant difference to housing supply”.

Stayz’s Senior Director of Government and Corporate Affairs Eacham Curry said he “encourages an early review into the effectiveness” of the incentive.

Reforms elsewhere

In September, the Victorian Government announced a 7.5% tax on money made by ‘short-stay’ housing platforms such as Airbnb.

The coastal town of Byron Bay on the NSW north coast will introduce a 60-day cap on ‘short-stay’ accommodation in September 2024.

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