A brilliant idea: Solve the shortage of rental acomodation by penalizing those who provide it! Short-term lets are an important source of accomodation but they are bad somehow. Property owners concerned may withdraw from the market entirely if they are penalized for it. Attempts to make people do what they do not want to do will always be met with evasion in some form
Brisbane homeowners who list their properties as short-term accommodation on sites like Airbnb will be slugged with a 50% rates hike amid a chronic shortage of rental properties.
Handing down the city’s $4bn budget on Wednesday, the LNP lord mayor, Adrian Schrinner, said a new “transitory accommodation” category will help tackle housing availability and affordability in Australia’s fastest growing capital city.
Schrinner said the 50% rate increase would mean a property on Brisbane’s minimum rating category would pay $600 extra a year, providing an incentive to landlords to rent their property to longer term tenants.
Brisbane’s rental vacancy rate was 0.7% in May, according to SQM Research.
Related: Short-term rentals, long-term anguish for Australian towns struggling to find homes for locals
“There’s a serious housing affordability issue and we need to be looking at new ways to increase housing supply,” Schrinner said.
“It’s about getting more accommodation for renters to be available in that long-term rental market. Every single property that switches from short-term to long-term rental is a win for the community.”
It comes as Schrinner said residential rates would increase by 4.93% – the city’s highest rates increase in more than a decade – as Brisbane grapples with the aftermath of February’s floods.
From 1 July, property owners who list their homes on Airbnb, Booking.com and Stayz will be asked to self-identify and be charged higher rates. The charges will only apply to entire properties, not single rooms or granny flats, and only to those rented out on short-term leases for more than 60 days a year.
Schrinner said council would use online resources to identify properties listed as short-term accommodation, and also allow people to report their neighbours.
He said there had been almost 300 complaints from the community about short-term rentals in the past three years across Darra, Wavell Heights, Rochedale and Paddington.
“Think about how you would feel as a resident if your nextdoor neighbour kept on changing every second night, [and] every weekend [there were] parties happening in the house,” he said.
“This is what’s being reported to us. And so that’s just one of many ways that we can identify this problem.”
Schrinner said the city needs more housing supply and criticised the Greens for opposing new developments.