The Victorian Greens will this week put pressure on the Victorian Labor Government to introduce short-stay regulations, in a bid to alleviate the state’s rental crisis.
Right now, Victorians with multiple properties are able to rent out their secondary homes as short-stays for holidaymakers – through third party services like Airbnb – for as little or as long as they’d like, at a much higher nightly rate than a long-term rental.
This has had a major impact on the rental markets of both inner-city and regional holiday destinations.
That’s why the Greens are proposing:
- A 90-day cap on how many nights a year you can rent out a secondary property as a short-stay
- New rules to allow owners corporations to regulate short-stays for properties that are not a host’s principal residence in their building
- A new mandatory public register of short-stay operators
These changes would help incentivise Victorians to make their secondary homes available as long-term rentals, rather than keeping them as short-stays where they would sit empty for most of the year outside of holiday season.
In popular holiday destinations in regional Victoria, rents are at record levels while the number of available rental properties has plummeted. And in the city, large apartment buildings have been turned into de facto hotels, reducing amenity and liveability for permanent residents.
Rural and regional communities in particular report not having enough rental housing stock for local families as well as workers that have moved into an area to work in local businesses.
This has reduced the capacity of local economies to recover from the pandemic because of worker shortages and has plunged many families into housing stress or crisis.
Victorian Greens spokesperson for renters’ rights, Gabrielle de Vietri, said the growing conversion of long-term rentals into short-stay accommodation had exacerbated an already tight rental market across Victoria.
In the City of Yarra, which covers de Vietri’s local electorate of Richmond, there are currently over 1,200 entire properties available for short-stays, and less than 300 available rentals.
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens renters’ rights spokesperson, Gabrielle de Vietri MP:
“Short stay accommodation is almost entirely unregulated in Victoria, and it’s making the rental crisis worse.
“Investment properties are being turned into mini hotels at the cost of a family or worker having access to secure rental properties.
“We need to introduce strong short-stay regulations to ensure affordable housing is available to families and workers experiencing housing stress.
“Cities around the world like New York, London, and Berlin regulate their short-stay market, it’s time for us to do the same."