Tasmanian government announces deregulation of Airbnb and Stayz

Airbnb Australia and New Zealand country manager Sam McDonagh, Lenah Valley Airbnb operator Merrydith Callegari, Premier Will Hodgman and Planning Minister Peter Gutwein
Airbnb Australia and New Zealand country manager Sam McDonagh, Lenah Valley Airbnb operator Merrydith Callegari, Premier Will Hodgman and Planning Minister Peter Gutwein

The state government’s decision to deregulate the sharing economy in Tasmania will provide “certainty” for Airbnb and Stayz operators, Premier Will Hodgman says.

Under the Tasmanian government’s newly-announced sharing economy policy, Airbnb and Stayz operators will no longer be limited to renting out their property for 42 nights per year.

“In order to accommodate the rapid growth in our tourism industry, we need to provide more options and more choice for those who want to come to our state,” Mr Hodgman said.

The new approach to accommodation sharing dictates that anyone with a home with up to four bookable rooms will not be required to apply for a permit.

For investment properties or shacks less than 300 metres squared, and for homes with more than four bookable rooms, permitted use is required.

Council approval is required for investment properties more than 300 metres squared.

Airbnb operator Merrydith Callegari said she appreciated Airbnb’s message of “living in a city, not visiting a city”.

“And that’s what my husband and I try to do when we have people stay with us,” she said.

Meanwhile, Opposition digital economy spokeswoman Madeleine Ogilvie was critical of the government’s policy.

“This ... pushes all decision-making onto local government,” she said.

“It’s really quite a disappointing approach.”

Planning Minister Peter Gutwein said deregulation would work towards addressing Tasmania’s accommodation demand.

“At a time when Tasmania has a burgeoning tourism sector … this will assist in ensuring that we can meet the demand,” he said.

The process for renting out one’s property on Airbnb and Stayz had been simplified, Mr Gutwein said.

“It will mean one phone call to council, complete one form, and you’re in business,” he said.

The government’s sharing economy policy will take effect on July 1.

This story Sharing economy overhaul first appeared on The Advocate.