State Government to adopt short-stay accommodation recommendations

Planning Minister Rita Saffioti has revealed the State Government plans to adopt nearly all of the recommendations of the Economics and Industry Standing Committee on Short-Term Rentals in Western Australia. The inquiry, lead by Jessica Shaw MLA, made 10 recommendations based on 40 findings.

It found short-term rentals are a genuine income source for some people and well-used by guests.

There was no regulation of the industry and there were many examples of adverse impacts of neighbours and local communities.

The State Government has flagged plans to adopt a low-cost, simple registration scheme for all short-term accommodation providers; to differentiate between hosted and unhosted stays; and to develop an education campaign to ensure owners, property managers and purchasers are aware of their obligations.

As well the State Government is investigating the introduction of deemed provisions in all planning schemes for hosted accommodation to be exempt from local government approval; updating strata title guidance to improve powers and processes for strata companies to manage short-term rentals; and it has established an interagency group to work with local governments and accommodation providers.

“We acknowledge the value that the community places on having access to short-term rentals and the contribution this sector is making to our economy through emerging service industries and new jobs,” Ms Saffioti said. “But we must also make sure there are appropriate protocols in place to ensure sustainability and support our traditional accommodation providers.

“This is a complex issue and we acknowledge that local governments across the State have had good and bad experiences in the sector and that they will have specific requirements that will need to be considered going forward.

“The real estate industry, planners, developers and local governments need clear guidance … and we will take a co-ordinated approach across government to achieve this.”

Ms Saffioti said it was important to support a valued component of the State’s tourism industry and a choice of accommodation options. Ultimately any scheme would be designed to protect guests and educate owners, property managers and buyers.