Tourism industry groups push for annual cap on short-stay housing


“Particularly in Victoria, it’s largely unregulated,” he said.

Munro said caps would encourage owners to seek greater financial security in the long-term rental market.

In NSW, 180-day caps over the course of a year have been introduced across many coastal and regional centers and much of Sydney.

However, Byron Shire Council this year moved to introduce a 90-day maximum on non-hosted short-stay accommodation over a year.

The Accommodation Association, which represents caravan parks, regional motels and hotel chains, is also pushing for the short-stay sector to meet similar safety standards to commercial operators, including large hotels.

This would include hardwired smoke detection systems, fire hose reels every 20 meters and fire rated doors.

The Byron Shire Council has limited the number of days properties can be listed on Airbnb to increase long-term housing. Credit:Istock

Munro said some councils, including Brisbane, were also seeking to introduce higher rates for short-stay providers in recognition of their commercial purpose. He encouraged the Victorian government to consider similar measures.

Victorian Tourism Industry Council chief executive Felicia Mariani said the state government needed to assert greater control over the short-stay sector, which included imposing caps.

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“The lack of regulation in this space has led to this crisis we’ve now seen with a proliferation of short-stay across regional Victoria,” she said.

Mariani said the shortage of affordable rental properties was damaging the social fabric of regional areas because many people working in hospitality, education and health were unable to live in their communities because rental homes were unavailable or too expensive.

Rents have soared by up 20 per cent in some regional towns over the past year, Domain data revealed.

A spokeswoman for the state government said it had already brought in laws regulating the short-stay sector and cracking down on unruly behaviour.

She said a review of existing laws would investigate whether further adjustments were needed.

This year Noosa Council introduced registration fees and tougher new local laws to regulate short-stay letting that would require owners to gain approval before renting out their homes.

Queensland University human geography associate professor Thomas Sigler said Airbnb-style arrangements may be reducing the number of long-term rental properties in tourism towns such as Lorne and Portsea.

He said there were just about 60,500 short-stay listings in Victoria in 2021, compared to about 85,500 in 2019.

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However, Sigler said the number of nights offered had increased despite the drop in properties listed for short-stay accommodation. “Fewer properties are getting used more often,” he said.

Sigler said there was limited evidence to suggest short-stay platforms were eroding housing affordability more broadly across Victoria.

“There are many reasons that housing affordability has diminished, but it’s mainly to do with demand exceeding supply.”

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