Permit for Airbnbs amid housing crisis crack down

Property owners will be forced to acquire a permit to operate an Airbnb in Brisbane amid the impact of short-stay accommodation on housing supply.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner will introduce a system to regulate the rise in Airbnb in the city as residents struggle to find a long-term home.

After a year-long review of the sector, Mr Schrinner said less than one per cent of housing in Brisbane was used as short-stay accommodation.

“This hasn’t created the housing crisis but obviously it is something that needs to be managed and still adds to it,” he told ABC Radio on Wednesday.

According to data analytics site AirDNA, there are more than 10,000 properties in Brisbane used for short-stay accommodation.

Currently apartment building body corporates have little power to be able to stop a property being used as an Airbnb.

The council is set to introduce a permit system whereby a property could only function as an Airbnb if they had appropriate planning approvals in place, body corporate support and a 24-7 property manager.

Properties that do not meet the requirements for a permit would be forced to come back onto the long-term rental market to help meet the demand in Brisbane.

“We have identified over 400 properties that need to come back into the long-term rental market,” Mr Scrinner said.

He said he understood the demand for Airbnb-style accommodation, particularly ahead of the 2032 Olympics, however, there also needs to be property to support the long-term rental market.

Brisbane is facing surging house prices as the latest CoreLogic data revealed it is now the second-most expensive city in Australia to buy a house.

The demand for rentals has also skyrocketed, with Brisbane facing a 0.9 per cent vacancy rate and rent prices have risen 9.3 per cent over the last year

Short-term rentals will continue being charged higher council rates to combat overcharging of prices and to encourage the properties to come back on the market as a long-term solution.

“They are not using the house for a standard residential purpose, they are using it effectively for a business purpose,” Mr Schrinner said.

As the housing supply crisis wreaks havoc across Australia, other states like NSW are considering introducing a short term accommodation levy to encourage owners to put their properties back on the long-term market.

Victoria already has a 7.5 per cent tax on Airbnbs.


Savannah Meacham
(Australian Associated Press)

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