Home Rental industry Regional council wants commercial rates for Airbnb accommodations

Regional council wants commercial rates for Airbnb accommodations


Councils in the area have yet to decide whether they will back a scheme that would impose higher rates on homeowners who list their homes on short-stay accommodation sites.

The proposal is contained in a motion from the Town of Greater Bendigo tabled ahead of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) State Council meeting today (Friday October 14).

If successful, the motion would see the state’s peak council lobby ask the state government to implement the changes.

“MAV is calling on the state government to allow properties listed on accommodation sites like Airbnb to be classified as commercial properties rather than residential properties and to help councils easily identify them,” the motion reads. advice.

In its supporting rationale, the council argued that the trend towards short-term rentals, facilitated by well-known accommodation sites, has taken houses out of the long-term rental market.

“By allowing properties listed on accommodation sites to be rated at a new differential rate, landlords will be encouraged to consider offering long-term rental options to help address rental shortages.”
The City of Greater Geelong’s acting director of customer and business services, Bryce Prosser, said that although the city has not yet taken a position on the proposal, it was an issue that local governments were concerned about. grappling.

“Some councils have struggled to regulate the rapidly growing sharing economy because it can be complex and resource-intensive to identify homes that are being operated as accommodation for visitors,” he said.

Under Geelong’s existing pricing system, Mr Prosser said, the city uses differential pricing based on land use for residential, mixed-use and commercial properties.

In 2017, the Borough of Queenscliffe introduced a tourist accommodation rate set at 110% of the residential property rate for properties of five bedrooms or less where its aim is to generate income from holiday accommodation.

“Tourism being the largest industry in the borough, the council considers that a tourist accommodation tariff is necessary to provide the additional services to this sector,” said a spokesperson for the borough.

“The application of this differential rate ensures fairness among ratepayers, as these properties are used differently than other general residential properties.”

Surf Coast Shire’s executive director of strategic partnerships, Damian Waight, said his board “has yet to gather advice from the officers” on the Town of Greater Bendigo’s motion, but the county is not currently enforcing a different category for short-term rental accommodation.