As part of its 2022-23 Budget, Brisbane City Council has introduced new rating categories which will see owners of short term rental properties paying 50 per cent higher rates.
The new rating categories will make rates for transitory accommodation more consistent with commercial ones; in an effort to return homes to the long-term rental market.
These measures will not apply to properties which only rent out a single room, granny flat or shared accomodation.
However, properties that are listed for short-term rental for more than 60 days a year will be required to pay the higher rates.
In his budget speech, Brisbane City Council Lord Mayor, Adrian Schrinner, said with the rental vacancy rate now at record lows, it’s incredibly hard for tenants to find affordable places to live with six or 12 month leases.
“Short-term rentals may be convenient for tourists and visitors to Brisbane, but they throw up a minefield of issues,” Mayor Schrinner said.
“The short-term rental trend, facilitated by well-known booking apps, removes homes from the long-term rental market. It creates an uneven playing field and jeopardises investment in purpose-built short-term accommodation, like hotels.
“This is not a good scenario for a city that’s a decade away from hosting the biggest sporting event on the planet.
“The short-term accommodation boom also increases compliance costs for Council, with homeowners across Brisbane suddenly living next door to homes and apartments that have become mini hotels overnight.
“It is my hope, instead of paying extra, many owners of short-term rentals will now be motivated to put their homes and apartments into the longer-term rental market.”
While these measures aim to address the shrinking rental market in Brisbane, many believe these financial penalties will not deter property owners from listing their homes for short-term rental.
Speaking to the ABC, Queensland Council of Social Service Chief Executive, Aimee McVeigh, said Council working with the State Government to implement mandates for new developments to include social and affordable housing quotas would make a bigger difference to the housing crisis.
“I think it’s really good to see the Lord Mayor acknowledge the squeeze in the rental market in Brisbane,” Ms McVeigh said.
“It is really important that local government has robust housing policies, but if we look at this closely, what it really means is that those investors would pay about an extra $10 a week to list their homes on Airbnb.
“We haven’t seen any modelling that shows that type of fee would actually change people’s behaviour and see them put it back in the housing market.”
Ms McVeigh said regulations such as one enacted by the New South Wales Government, which capped the number of days a property could be listed on the short-term rental market, had already led to more properties coming onto the long-term rental market in places like Byron Bay.
These new rates will be progressively rolled out across Brisbane.
Owners are encouraged to self-identify from July 1 2022, but Council will be using online sources to identify short-stay properties.