Brighter And some

Airbnb facing cost hikes to offset affordability woes

by Kate Watt, Marketing Manager 19 October 2023

The Brisbane Greens mayoral candidate has proposed a whopping 1,000 per cent rate surcharge for short-term rental accommodation as Victoria becomes the first state to introduces a 7.5 per cent levy on short stays.

The short stay rental market has come under fire for contributing to Australia’s housing woes and governments are looking for ways to tip profits from the sector back into affordable housing.

Critics argue that Airbnb and other similar platforms take houses and apartments off the long-term rental market, making it hard for tenants to find affordable and stable accommodation.

Brisbane City Council already charges short stay owners 150 per cent of standard rates. Increasing that to 1,000 per cent would blow out an annual rates bill of $1,800 to $18,000, reports Your Investment Property.

As for Victoria’s levy of 7.5 per cent, that’s come under fire from Airbnb for being “too high” and unfairly targeting short stay platforms.

“Firstly and most critically, the levy will apply only to short-term rental accommodation, creating an uneven playing field that puts everyday Victorians who share their home behind large corporate hotel chains,” Airbnb said in a statement.

“Secondly, they have arrived at a levy of 7.5 percent, which is too high and will slug travellers’ hip pockets when they can least afford it. A contribution of 3 to 5 percent across all accommodation providers will raise more, but cost travellers less.”

Wherever things land in Brisbane, we suspect the debate will continue for a little while yet, and Brissie Airbnb property owners will be watching it closely.

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