Need for mid­dle ground on BnB list­ings

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Letters - Amanda Walker WA HomeS­tay di­rec­tor

I have been lis­ten­ing with in­ter­est to the chat around tighter reg­u­la­tion for WA hol­i­day homes.

Af­ter con­tact­ing the Aus­tralian Ho­tels As­so­ci­a­tion, it seems we share com­mon ground in that they are mainly tar­get­ing un­reg­is­tered hol­i­day homes list­ing on plat­forms.

How­ever, their five-point plan that states “whole homes” list­ings should be pro­hib­ited for stays un­der 14 days is con­cern­ing.

Their ar­gu­ment is own­ers are us­ing their prop­er­ties as quasi­ho­tels, tak­ing busi­ness from other short term ac­com­mo­da­tion providers, such as ho­tels.

I ar­gue that a fam­ily/big group book­ing a hol­i­day home is not tak­ing busi­ness from ho­tel rooms. These groups book­ing homes are look­ing for a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence.

Peo­ple rent­ing out rooms on the book­ing plat­forms are more com­pe­ti­tion to ho­tels and B&Bs than house list­ings.

AirBnB are be­ing chal­lenged as they are al­low­ing un­reg­is­tered and reg­is­tered homes to list on their site. I think the truth lies in the mid­dle. Yes, ev­ery­one should have to reg­is­ter with their lo­cal coun­cils and play by the rules — hence our po­si­tion of only al­low­ing reg­is­tered homes to list.

But over-reg­u­lat­ing hol­i­day homes is not the an­swer.

The AHA ar­gues many homes are owned by wealthy folk list­ing mul­ti­ple prop­er­ties, but many prop­erty man­agers list on be­half of own­ers. I’d like your feed­back for the Gov­ern­ment in­quiry on be­half of reg­is­tered hol­i­day homes. Email me at ad­[email protected]­home­s­

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