TAA (Vic) and AHA (Vic) recently formulated a submission, directed to the Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs, Marlene Kairouz, outlining suggested recommendations for the equitable regulation of short stay accommodation in Victoria.
This submission follows an earlier response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Owners Corporations Amendment (Short-stay Accommodation) Bill 2016.
The four key recommendations are as follows:
The government should implement a registration system for short stay accommodation hosts, consistent with that already in place in San Francisco, Denver, Chicago and New Orleans.
A registration system should monitor the requirement for hosts to only list one property on sharing accommodation platforms (One Host, One Home) and restrict booking capability to a threshold of 90 nights per year.
To address the regulatory imbalance between the short-stay and traditional accommodation sectors, all newly constructed Class 2 buildings should be subject to the same building code requirements, with regard to fire safety and disability access, as Class 3 buildings, given the close association of activity, in buildings where short stay accommodation is provided.
Owners’ Corporations in buildings with mixed use (private and shared accommodation) should be able to make and enforce their own by-laws regulating un-hosted accommodation in the building, particularly in the event an agreed majority of residents support a particular course of action.
The submission references the functional resemblance of sharing accommodation platforms like Airbnb to hotels that raise questions about how to deal with the regulatory and legislative requirements that bind traditional accommodation providers, but are not imposed on commercial-residential accommodation providers.
It also details how other jurisdictions around the world are addressing safety concerns; regulatory imbalances for similar asset classes; residential amenity issues; housing affordability and the fair application of taxes.
The submission reinforces that the Victorian Government has the opportunity to use lessons from other jurisdictions to determine ways shared accommodation platforms like Airbnb can coexist with local regulations that are beneficial to the company, its users and those impacted by its presence.
Related advocacy is planned to reinforce TAA (Vic) and AHA (Vic)’s position on the issue, particularly given the State Government has until 8 December 2017 to respond to the recommendations directed to it by the Committee, following the completion of the Parliamentary Inquiry process.
To read the full TAA (Vic)/AHA (Vic) submission, please click here (hyperlink to document).