‘We’re in a housing crisis – It’s time to act on AirBNB’


ACT Greens Member for Brindabella Johnathan Davis MLA will today move a motion in the ACT Legislative Assembly calling on the ACT Government to acknowledge and respond to evidence that short-term rental accommodation negatively impacts the supply and price of long-term rental properties.

“Online platforms like AirBnB and Stayz were originally promoted to help homeowners make a buck from their spare bedroom. Now they’ve grown into full blown real estate websites with thousands of entire properties listed for rent on a short-term basis.” Mr Davis said.

“Many of these properties were once available on the long-term rental market. But the strong returns, lack of regulation and absence of protections for tenants have all combined and proved a temptation too great for some property investors.”

“Estimates suggest there are more than 1,000 entire Canberra properties advertised at any given time on short-term rental platforms. Imagine the impact on our long-term rental market if we had 1,000 properties come back to the long-term rental market overnight?”

“We’re in a housing crisis – the ACT Government should be doing everything it can to bring more properties into the long-term rental market. The ACT Government needs to identify what policy intervention would be appropriate to manage short-term rental accommodation in the ACT, with the aim of increasing the supply of long-term rentals.”

“My motion asks the ACT Government to accept that short-term rental accommodation impacts the price and availability of long-term rentals. Once we all agree on that, we can then discuss what we’d like to do about it. A range of policy responses including registration, regulation, caps and codes of conduct have been implemented in other jurisdictions across the country and around the world. Let’s figure out what would work best for Canberra”

“This was my hope and expectation when I moved a motion in the Assembly back in May 2022 requesting an Assembly committee consider inquiring into short-term rental accommodation and its impact on the long-term rental market. Sadly, this work was not taken up by an Assembly committee. Today, I’ll ask the ACT Government to step up, respond to growing community concern and do this work”

“The ACT Greens believe that housing is a human right – that every Canberran deserves an affordable, accessible and sustainable home. The ACT Greens will continue to advance policy solutions aimed at tackling this housing crisis” Mr Davis concluded.

My motion calls on the ACT Government to:

  1. Acknowledge and respond to evidence nationally and globally showing that unrestricted short-term rental accommodation negatively impacts the price and supply of long-term rental properties;
  2. Explore regulatory and policy solutions to address negative local impacts of short-term rental accommodation on the supply and price of long-term rental properties in the ACT, including:
    1. Capping the number of properties that can be rented for short-term rental accommodation purposes;
    2. Capping the number of days an entire property can be rented for short-term accommodation purposes;
    3. Tax reform; and
    4. Restrict short-term rental accommodation to primary properties
  3. Establish a registration system for short-term rental accommodation properties in the ACT that is cost-neutral to Government, to enable data collection and future analysis of localised impacts on housing; and
  4. Report back to the Assembly on the last sitting day in August 2023.