City of Launceston considers regulating AirBnB, Stayz and similar accommodation

Picture: Shutterstock

Picture: Shutterstock

Alderman Darren Alexander has put forward a notice of motion, asking council officers to prepare a policy paper on regulating accommodation.

If approved by the alderman at Monday’s meeting, the paper would investigate existing regulation governing hotels, motels, Airbnb and Short Stayz and similar accommodation places within the City of Launceston.

Ald Alexander has also asked to investigate “the ability of the council to administer regulation of Airbnb and Short Stayz and similar accommodation places within the City of Launceston and difficulties encountered.”

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He has questioned whether the freedom that share economy operators have could act as a disincentives for investment in hotel and motel accommodation.

He would also like the council to deliver observations regarding the impacts, both positive and negative of Airbnb and Short Stayz and similar accommodation on tourism and investment Launceston.

The City of Launceston’s director development services Leanne Hurst wrote in the council agenda that standardised state-wide planning provisions now apply that significantly deregulate the sector. 

“Many scenarios no longer need planning approval, for example letting your house while you are on holiday, or letting less than 4 bedrooms in your house,” she said.

“These changes appear to be increasing the supply of accommodation on the market, and also reduce the ability for council to regulate the sector.

“Many operators who previously required permits will now not require them, significantly reducing the compliance burden on council.”

She said there was no identified studies on the impacts of this sector on the tourism economy of Launceston 

In February the state government announced plans to deregulate the sharing economy in Tasmania.

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

The 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.

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