WA to regulate short-stay accommodation

The Western Australian Government has announced they will adopt nearly all of the recommendations included in the Economics and Industry Standing Committee’s September report into short-stay accommodation, including a standardised registration scheme for short stay accommodation providers and allowing for variance through local planning requirements.

The Levelling the Playing Field -- Managing the impact of the rapid increase of Short-Term Rentals in Western Australia made 10 recommendations to both improve the current outdated and inconsistent policy which governs short-term rentals and create greater certainty for the tourism industry, accommodation providers, and guests.

Recommendations included a framework review with standardised definitions, shared data from online providers, and a requirement for accommodation providers to cite their registration number in any promotional material – all embraced in the State’s response.

It also is working on amending land use definitions to differentiate between hosted and un-hosted accommodation; looking into introduce deemed provisions into all planning schemes for hosted accommodation and seeking to have them exempt from local government approval; updating strata title guidance to include powers and processes open to strata companies to manage short-term rentals; and developing an education campaign to ensure owners, property managers, and purchasers are aware of their obligations regarding short-term rental properties.

WA Local Government Association President, Cr Lynne Craigie welcomed the changes, saying the initial inquiry was the result of an extensive consultation process including WALGA and Local Governments, with the sector supporting the Committee’s recommendations.

“The sector has been advocating for modernisation of the planning framework as it relates to short term accommodation, as the existing framework is not effective in addressing this emerging sector,” Cr Craigie said. “The introduction of a State-wide registration process will greatly assist Local Governments in their work identifying and managing compliance of short-term accommodation premises.”

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