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Call to ban short-term rentals for detached homes to fix housing crisis

Airbnb is part of the sharing economy but how is taking houses away from the long-term rental market during a housing crisis sharing?

A peak industry body representing resident accommodation managers has called on governments to ban detached houses from the holiday and short-term rental market to help the housing crisis.

CEO of the Australian Resident Accommodation Managers Association (ARAMA), Trevor Rawnsley said a recent suggestion by the Queensland Government to introduce a rental cap won’t work.

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He said the current housing crisis was largely caused by a combination of overseas-owned online travel agencies (OTAs) like Airbnb taking family homes out of the long-term rental or owner occupation mix, plus harsh new rental tenancy laws.

“The data reveals that there were 251,000 short-term rental properties registered across Australia in September 2022, and most of these are empty most of the time.”

The solution according to ARAMA is for governments to provide investors with incentives like reduced regulations and costs so that it is financially viable for them to switch their housing investment portfolio from short-term rental to long-term rental, and free up thousands of homes for long-term renters or owner occupiers.

“It is becoming harder for investors to rent out their houses to long-term residential tenants because of new laws in different states swinging all the power towards the tenant.”

ARAMA CEO, Trevor Rawnsley

Mr Rawnsley said some of his members who manage unit blocks use OTA platforms to market their holiday apartments, but this was far different to listing traditional suburban family homes on Airbnb and other OTAs.

“Unit blocks must have short-term letting as part of the mix because tourism is also important, and most units that have holiday letting are in tourist areas.

“High-rise apartments are perfect for short-term letting and long-term letting and can segway between the two types depending on market demands.”

He said suburban family homes are now being used as holiday letting and party houses because governments have been seduced into allowing it under the guise of the ‘sharing economy’.

“There is nothing sharing about it. Taking houses in the suburbs away from the long-term residential housing rental market at a time of a housing crisis is extremely selfish.”

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Joan Bird
1 year ago

I can only comment on NSW. I think perhaps Mr Rawnsley needs to look at the recently released NSW STRA registration numbers.

There is not one NSW LGA where non-hosted STRA exceeds 8.49% of available housing stock – hhmmmm

Phil Scott
Phil Scott
1 year ago

If the local councils enforced their only planning guidelines and stopped short-term rentals in residential areas these issues would be partially addressed. ‘Party Houses’ are a constant source of complaints in the Cairns region. Even though there are defined tourism, tourism + residential and residential only zones. Short-term rentals keep popping up in the residential only zones causing much angst and disharmony in neighbourhoods. It’s time for the local councils to make a stand and stop the flip flopping and passing the buck to the state government. Alternatively, the state government could step in but that would probably be a poorer solution but better than none.

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