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Airbnb and short term letting continues to be one of the more topical and contentious issues in Queensland strata communities.

Recently we have seen the Palaszczuk government commit to reviewing the impact of short term letting on the broader housing market in Queensland. This review is said to include how short-term rental accommodation is regulated under the planning framework, recognising the need for a balanced approach to how people use their homes for short-term and long-term accommodation.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles noted that the regulatory framework for short-term rental accommodation would be considered in terms of its ability to provide an additional income stream for homeowners and its contribution to housing affordability.  He said any impacts short-term rentals had on the availability and affordability of longer-term accommodation would also be considered.  It is anticipated that the framework will take the form of a guide for councils, rather than a hard cap on visitor nights as has been flagged  in NSW.

This follows the recent move by Brisbane City Council to apply 50% higher rates a year for properties used as short term accommodation for more than 60 days per year. While Noosa Shire Council earlier introduced a new local law aimed at further regulating the ongoing operation of short term letting and managing the impacts on permanent residents and guest safety. In this instance to operate short term letting owners are required to submit a one-off application for all existing and new properties operating short term letting with annual renewal of the approval being required while the short term letting activity continues to operate at the property.  Further, complaints regarding short term letting are now managed through a centralised 24/7  hotline and short term let properties are required to display an approval notice at the front of the property which also includes the 24/7 complaints phone number.

Such commitments from Government and Councils demonstrate the evolving need to not only better regulate short term letting but are also address Queensland’s current housing shortage. It is suggested that more is required to better empower bodies corporate in particular to regulate short term letting within a scheme.  Strata Community Association QLD president , Kristi Kinast recently commented that SCA (QLD) maintains Air BNB is one of the biggest problems in Queensland strata communities and that further action by the State Government was required. “As the industry association for body corporate managers, our members hear countless stories of properties being used for parties and anti-social behaviour, with committees and residents absolutely powerless to act. It is a serious issue in terms of the liveability for many people in strata communities. Brisbane City Council’s announcement affirms what we already know in the Queensland strata sector: short-term letting is a serious problem in the housing market and for residential amenity in strata complexes,” said Ms Kinast.

Many within the strata industry continue to advocate for the need for updated legislation which would allow bodies corporate to introduce a by-law allowing them to ban short-term letting, something that  is not currently possible for the vast majority of schemes. With no immediate legislative change on the horizon it would seem that bodies corporate will continue to be unable to make decisions about how their communities are run when it comes to short term letting.

While we thought it would be helpful to share this information, of course if you do have any questions regarding Airbnb at your complex, contact your strata manager today.