Industry leader responds to fears that the rise of sharing “economy platforms’ such as “Airbnb” is a major cause of Australia’s rental crisis and rebukes a recent call from a management rights association leader to “ban short-term rentals in detached homes” to fix the housing crisis.
Yoav Tourel, Temporary Board Chair Of Directors at ASTRA (Australian Short Term Rental Accommodation Association) says, “Short Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) is not the one to blame.”
“STRA is not the problem,” he said.
And he urges consideration of the findings of an important government inquiry into housing affordability conducted in 2022.
He said: A review of The Australian Dream: Inquiry into housing affordability and supply in Australia produced by a bipartisan federal committee in March 2022 provides scope to consider all other impacts on this matter.”
Australia is experiencing a rental crisis, the rental market has become increasingly competitive, with high demand for rental properties and a low supply of available rentals, making it difficult for many Australians to find affordable housing.
To address the rental crisis, governments and policymakers have proposed various measures, including increasing the supply of affordable housing, improving tenant rights, and regulating the short-term rental market. However, solutions take time to implement, and in the meantime, renters continue to face significant challenges in securing affordable and suitable housing.
Mr Tourel, referencing the outcomes from this government inquiry in 2022, points out: “The key recommendations focused on lifting housing density in appropriate urban centers, planning restrictions, increasing the cost of housing, a need to incentivize state and local governments, adopting better ‘planning’ approaches, building more affordable housing, encouraging public, and private partnerships to build ‘rent to buy’, allowing buyers to use superannuation for deposits, it recommended no change to current negative gearing policies and suggested that states should replace stamp duty with land tax.”
“Note, said Mr Tourel, “STRA was not even mentioned or referred to as a factor in this extensive report.”
The rental crisis is worrying and has had a significant impact on long-term renters, but it’s caused by many factors and will not be solved by banning ‘Airbnb’ type accommodations insists Mr Tourel.
Who says in his opinion, discouraging short-stay rentals will discourage ‘mum and dad’ property investors and this could even add to the crisis. It will also impact the local economy as many in the workforce are dependent on STRA.
To address concerns about the impact of short-term rentals on the rental market, some local governments in Australia have already introduced regulations. For example, in New South Wales, hosts can only rent out their homes on Airbnb for a maximum of 180 days per year, and they must also obtain a license and adhere to a Code of Conduct.
These measures aim to ensure higher standards of STRA as well as to strike a balance between allowing the short-term rental market to operate while also protecting the supply of long-term rental properties.
But Mr Tourel says solving the rental crisis in Australia will require a coordinated effort from all stakeholders involved. It will likely take time and sustained investment to address the underlying issues and improve the affordability and accessibility of rental housing across the country.
Mandy has over 17 years of accommodation and tourism industry writing experience and is Editor of AccomNews & Resort News, Publisher of SchoolNews & Director of Multimedia Pty Ltd. She is a retired registered nurse with a 25-year NHS career that followed a few unforgettable years in hotel housekeeping.