Commissioner's blog: Short term rentals – look before you lease
If you’ve got a spare room or investment property, you may be considering advertising the space for short-term renting to make some extra money. Or perhaps you’re a local travelling across WA, who’s on the look-out for somewhere to stay that’s different to what’s on offer from traditional accommodation providers.
Whatever your motivation, it’s clear that Western Australia’s short-term rental market has been a game-changer for the state’s tourism industry over the last few years.
As a result, the State Government is looking into the regulation of short-term renting in WA and will be introducing a new registration scheme.
In the meantime, there are important things you need to know if you’re involved in the industry, which is why we have launched a public education campaign and new web page explaining the rights and responsibilities of hosts, guests, real estate agents and those looking to buy or sell a short-term rental property.
If you’re a host, it’s smart to be aware of your obligations surrounding the truthful marketing and presentation of your property, any council or strata laws, insurance cover, as well as your responsibilities to keep visitors safe.
Guests should know they have rights under the Australian Consumer Law, read the booking platform’s terms and conditions before deciding, and know where to go if they have a complaint.
Should you be looking to buy a property to lease as a short-term rental, it’s best to explore whether any approvals are needed or if there are rules stopping the use of the property as a short-stay, such as strata laws.
If you’re selling a property, it might be appropriate to tell your agent if it’s been used as a short-term rental as this may be important information for potential buyers.
Further information about everyone’s short-term renting rights and responsibilities can be found here: www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumer-protection/short-term-rental-accommodation
To find out about the planned registration scheme, see the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage website.
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