Airbnb policy goes back to the drawing board

BAYSWATER council is going back to the drawing board to better develop a short-term accommodation policy.

The rethink follows concerns its current draft policy may be too harsh on residents wanting to hire out spare rooms and properties via websites such as Airbnb (Voice, December 12, 2015).

Under the draft, a failure to gain council approval before advertising could result in fines up to $200,000.

Some councillors are sympathetic to the argument citizens deserve more control over their property.

“Do we have a right to regulate this, and put these onerous requirements on people sub-letting a room?” asks Cr Brent Fleeton.

He says he’d “raised so many doubts” about the draft and is unsurprised it fell at the first hurdle.

The draft policy tabled this week restricts guest numbers and allows council staff to act against troublesome tenants.

To win approval as a short-stay accommodation provider under the draft policy, property owners must supply a “management plan” outlining house rules, such as banning anti-social behavious and evidence of a plan to deal with complaints.

by EMMIE DOWLING

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