Councils air short-stay concerns
THE growing trend to locate short-stay accommodation such as AirBnB in the suburbs continues to cause angst for local councils.
Belmont Council last week granted approval for a Rivervale property to carry on as a holiday home, despite objections from neighbours, while South Perth Council faces a similar quandary tonight for a Kensington house.
Belmont councillors voted in favour of a sixmonth trial in Rivervale due to neighbours’ concerns about amenity, noise and security. The area was described as being home to mostly elderly people.
“The issue of AirBnB management is a serious problem,” Cr Laura Cayoun said.
A State Parliamentary inquiry was set up last month to regulate the short stay-accommodation industry. AirBnB, like other industry players, has said it welcomes the inquiry.
Cr Cayoun said it was an “unhappy reality” that councils had to approve change of use applications for holiday houses in residential streets to keep some control of the conditions to be imposed on owners.
Mayor Phil Marks said rules implemented recently at a house in Fauntleroy Avenue had helped.
“Sometimes these conditions put on can make a huge difference and I certainly hope that is the situation here,” he said.
Tonight, South Perth Council will vote on a change of use application for a home in Vista Street, Kensington.
The application is for up to eight guests each night but at a preliminary meeting last Tuesday, Mayor Sue Doherty suggested she might push for that to be reduced to as low as four.
Both adjoining neighbours had earlier spoken about how living next to an AirBnB property had affected the amenity on their street, with bins left out for days and backyard lights often on all night.
Belmont Cr Robert Rossi said people were clearly concerned about how shortstay accommodation affects residential streets.
“I am worried that over time they will change the sense of place of our suburbs, with almost a revolving door of strangers with no real connection to the neighbourhood,” he said.
Cr Jenny Davis encouraged residents with concerns to compile a body of evidence, put complaints in writing and call police where necessary.