Home » News & Media » Campaign News » MEDIA RELEASE: Short term rental reforms welcomed

MEDIA RELEASE: Short term rental reforms welcomed

Posted on:

Tagged with:

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Copy page URL Share…

The peak bodies for community services, housing and homelessness in Western Australia warmly
welcome today’s State Government announcement on much-needed reforms to short-term rental

The Western Australian Council of Social Service (WACOSS), Make Renting Fair and Shelter WA view the introduction of a 90-night threshold (before Development Application is required) for whole properties let as Short-
Term Rentals as a pathway to significantly and immediately increasing supply of rentals for Western

The proposed reforms will include a $10,000 incentive available for properties currently let as short
stay accommodation to return or enter to the private rental market for at least 12 months, and
rented for under $800 per week in the metro area and $650 in the South West.  Owners will be
offered $4000 up front on the condition that a 12-month lease is in place by May 2024, with the
remaining $6000 paid at the end of the lease. 

Lines attributable to Chantal Caruso, Make Renting Fair:

“The Make Renting Fair alliance strongly supports the government’s proposed reforms to short stay accommodation, including a register and a cap on the number of days they can be listed for.

“In an unprecedented rental crisis this is an easy win. Even if the reforms resulted in 20 per cent of Airbnbs being brought back into the rental market this would literally double the number of private rentals available in WA right now.

“It’s important to remember that these types of reforms are being considered not just around Australia but around the world as local communities now grapple with a severe shortage of rentals caused by short stay accommodation.

“Short stay accommodation has not only directly reduced rental supply but also driven up rents. And in some places has completely taken it over – in places there are literally zero rentals but hundreds of airbnbs. That’s not sustainable or rational.

“It’s shocking to discover there are 3 airbnbs for every 1 long term rental currently available across WA. There are 9516 “entire homes’ listed on Airbnb right now in WA but only 2700 private rentals.

“The direct link between the lack of private rental homes and the short stay market cannot be overstated. Our analysis shows that for Perth, the number of short-stay rental listings increased by 20.5 percent between April 2022 and April 2023, and corresponded closely with the decline in private rental bonds of 22 percent over the same period.

“A big surprise in this data is the large number of individuals and real estate companies managing up to 90 properties. It’s no wonder the real estate industry is saying short stays aren’t the problem! It’s a booming industry for them.

“We’re also worried by the big push we’re now seeing by real estate agents who are listing homes for sale “as good Airbnb investments”.
During an unprecedented rental crisis, we need to be doing everything we can to bring rentals back into the market and increase supply. Not making the problem even worse.

Shelter WA CEO, Kath Snell said they have advocated for the reform of short stay accommodation
for quite some time and is glad to see the Government has responded. 

“With this announcement, we congratulate the Cook Government for the courage to introduce an
incentive to increase urgently needed rental supply.  

“We have provided the WA government with data on the impact of the Short Stay Rental Market –
including the sobering finding that in WA right now there are approximately 3 short term rentals for
every 1 private rental currently listed. 

“If these reforms incentivise just one quarter of the Airbnb’s into rental housing that will literally
double the current rental supply in WA. 

“About half of all Airbnb’s currently listed (just under 4000 homes) are one- and two-bedrooms
homes, we expect to see this $10,000 incentive attract more of these properties into the rental

“The metro-based decision to ensure all short-term rentals must go through planning approval, (with
a 90 night exception), should definitely see more properties return to the long term rental pool.

“Congratulations to the Premier, Minister Carey, Minister Ellery and the WA State Government on
these decisions – we truly believe they will positively impact the rental market, and we are excited to
see the impact.

“We will be keeping a close eye on the impact of these reforms on vacancy rates and rental

“We understand this is not a silver bullet but part of a package of solutions the WA government is
introducing, including the $24.4m Rent Relief scheme announced yesterday.

“These changes, along with the rent relief program of $24.4 million announced yesterday, shows the
Government is taking housing and cost-of-living seriously.” 

“Our focus now must be on measures to grow new supply of rental homes and improving security of
tenure for existing renters” Ms Snell concluded.


The top ten places with the highest number of Airbnbs are:

  • Busselton:  1455 Airbnb (vs 34 private rentals)
  • Augusta/Margaret River: 770 Airbnbs (vs 13 private rentals)
  • Stirling including Balga, Balcatta, Innaloo, Doubleview: 513 Airbnb (vs 171 rentals)
  • Fremantle: 484 Airbnb (vs 87 private rentals)
  • Mandurah: 475 Airbnb (vs 154 private rentals)
  • Perth, including Northbridge, East and West Perth: 410 Airbnb (vs 167 rentals)
  • Albany: 323 Airbnb (vs 21 private rentals)
  • Joondalup incl. Marmion, Ocean Reef, Hillarys: 229 Airbnb (vs 81 rentals listed)
  • Gin Gin including Lancelin and Guilderton: 213 Airbnb (vs 2 rentals)
  • Broome: 195 Airbnb (vs 30 private rentals)

For example, the WA average is three airnbs for every one private rental – but there are 23 places in WA where there are between 20 – 179 airbnbs listed for every one private rental!   (and of these, 12 suburbs have zero private rentals listed).

The top 10 places with the highest ratios of short stay to private rentals :

  • Kalbarri:   179 short stay listings and 0 rentals
  • Exmouth: 145 short stay listings and 0 rentals
  • Manjimup: 127 short stay listings and 0 rentals
  • Gin Gin inc. Lancelin Guilderton: 127 short stays for every 1 listing
  • Denmark: 72 short stays for every 1 rental
  • Donnybrook: 70 short stays for every one rental
  • Nannup: 70 short stays for every 1 rental
  • Capel: 63:1 ratio
  • Augusta Margaret River: 59:1
  • Harvey: 48:1