State government flags short-stay accommodation crackdown

Roger Jaensch MP

Roger Jaensch MP

The Tasmanian government has announced its intention to legislate compliance measures for the short-stay accommodation sector.

It comes amid a public consultation process for a Legislative Council inquiry into the regulation of short-stay accommodation in Tasmania.

Labor and the Greens have accused the government of failing to properly regulate the booming sector, saying it has contributed to the housing crisis in the South.

On Tuesday, Housing Minister Roger Jaensch said the government would be introducing legislation to “address compliance concerns” around short-stay accommodation, adding that a public awareness campaign would also be launched.

The legislation will work to ensure existing short-stay accommodation regulations are complied with.

It will require people listing an investment property on an online platform like Airbnb to show details of their permit to do so.

This would not apply to those sharing their primary residence.

Mr Jaensch said anyone found to be in breach of regulations could face “significant” fines.

“The legislation will … ensure everyone is playing by the rules,” Mr Jaensch said.

“These steps will ensure the checks and balances are in place when it comes to short-stay accommodation so that Tasmanians and visitors alike can continue to share in its benefits.

“It’s important that those who benefit from the sharing economy make sure they are doing the right thing.”

Labor housing spokesman Josh Willie said the announcement amounted to the government admitting it had “got it wrong” on regulating the sector.

“They need to take responsibility for that,” he said.

Short-stay accommodation platform HomeAway supported the government’s proposal in principle, but said it needed “more work” before it was made law.

​“HomeAway supports a tougher penalty regime, provided it applies equally across the entire short-term rental accommodation industry,” HomeAway spokesman Eacham Curry said.

Submissions for the upper house inquiry into short-stay accommodation close on Friday.