Brisbane City Council has asked residents to advise the Council when residential properties are being rented through short-term accommodation websites.
Lord Mayor, Adrian Schrinner said Council will write to Brisbane households this month asking them to nominate properties they believe may fall into the new Transitory Accommodation rating category.
The new rating category, introduced on July 1, requires eligible owners to pay 50% higher rates if they rent out their properties on a short-term basis through websites like AirBnb, Bookings.com and Stayz.
“I’d be happy if this new rating category didn’t raise a single dollar,” Lord Mayor Schrinner said.
“Brisbane currently has a severe housing shortage because not enough homes are being built to meet demand.
“We want this new rating category to convince owners to return properties to the long-term rental market so they can be permanent homes.”
The Lord Mayor said the surge in the popularity of short-term accommodation websites had also generated additional complaints.
“Some residents have suddenly found themselves living next to pseudo hotels and this has created problems,” he said
“Additional complaints cause an increase in compliance costs which should not be borne by other ratepayers.
“Owners using properties as short-term accommodation are reaping commercial returns so it is only fair that they pay a commercial level of rates.”
Under the new rating category, an entire property must have been offered, available or used as short-term accommodation for more than 60 days a year to be eligible.
Owner-occupiers who rent out a spare room for short-term accommodation are excluded.
Council’s website allows residents to register their properties or provide information on properties they believe fit into the new rating category.
The 50% increase will mean the owner of an average Brisbane property used for short-term accommodation will pay an additional $985 a year.
Brisbane Civic Cabinet Chair for Finance, Fiona Cunningham said Council will soon begin using online technology tools to identify properties that fall into the Transitory Accommodation category.
“We would prefer if people self-nominate, which occurs already when properties shift from being owner-occupied to rented,” Cr Cunningham said.
“However, through technology that’s available, Council can identify properties that have been listed on short-term accommodation websites for 60 days.
“As we said in June, it is going to take time to identify all the eligible properties that fall into this category.
“This is about trying to push properties back into the private rental market while ensuring those that continue to be used on a short-term basis pay their fair share,” she said.