Reforms to provide better short-stay regulation and encourage more rentals

This announcement is for: 
Landlord / lessorTenant
  • All short-term rental accommodation providers to be required to register properties
  • New $10,000 incentive for property owners to transition existing short-term rental accommodation into long-term rental homes for Western Australians
  • Reforms to provide consistency across the sector and clarity on what is required to operate a short-term rental accommodation property

The Cook Government has today announced new regulations for un-hosted Short-Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) in Western Australia, along with an incentive aimed at returning some properties to the long-term rental market to help increase housing supply.

The reforms, which strike a balance between better regulation of STRA throughout WA and the rights of individual property owners, will:

  1. Establish a State-wide register for all short-term rental accommodation properties;
  2. Mandate registration of all STRA properties and introduce planning requirements for STRA properties in the Perth metropolitan area, including the need for planning approval for un-hosted STRA properties; and
  3. Introduce a STRA incentive scheme, to be on offer for six months, to encourage property owners to return their STRA properties to the long-term rental market.

These reforms also respond to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Short-Stay Accommodation, which recommended the establishment of a State-wide registration scheme and updates to planning guidance for STRA properties.

Property owners will be required to register all STRA properties in WA before being able to advertise and take bookings, including on online booking platforms.

Registrations are expected to open mid-2024 and all STRA properties, including those that do not require planning approval (such as hosted STRA properties), will need to be registered by 1 January 2025. STRA property owners that are already required to have development approval must provide their development approval number at registration, or by 1 January 2026 if subject to the new planning requirements, to remain on the register.

Planning requirements in the Perth metropolitan area will be changed, with approval required from the local government for un-hosted STRA that operate for more than 90 nights.  In regional areas, including the Peel region, local governments will determine when planning approval is required.

Further guidance will be provided to local governments on STRA land uses in their planning schemes and frameworks. The reforms do notpropose any limitations on the number of nights a hosted or un-hosted STRA property can be rented for.

In the Perth metropolitan area, un-hosted STRA property owners will be exempt from having to obtain development approval if the property is not rented for more than 90 nights in a 12-month period. If an un-hosted STRA will be rented more than 90 nights (inclusive) in a 12-month period, the property owner must seek planning approval from their local government.

All local governments will be expected to amend their local planning schemes to implement the policy changes and be able to issue development approvals by 1 January 2026, if required.

As part of the Cook Government's ongoing efforts to boost housing supply and affordability, a new STRA Incentive Scheme will be in place for six months to encourage property owners to transition short-stay rentals into long-term rental properties now.

The scheme offers a $10,000 payment to property owners willing to switch their STRA properties to the long-term rental market.

To qualify for the $10,000 STRA Incentive Scheme payment, you must have already had an entire property for rent on short-stay booking platforms, such as Airbnb or Stayz, within the past six weeks. Applicants will be required to provide a minimum 12-month lease agreement to new, long-term tenants through the Residential Tenancies Act 1987.

To protect tenants and ensure the new homes are affordable, a maximum rent chargeable by location (region) will apply. This includes a maximum rent of $800 per week in Perth (including Mandurah) and $650 in the South West. The maximum rent chargeable by location allows room for property owners to charge rents that reflect the conditions for where their property is located.

There will be a two-stage payment process that consists of a $4,000 payment once eligible applications are approved, and a $6,000 payment after the long-term tenancy rental agreement reaches 12 months. STRA property owners can now submit a simple Expression of Interest (EOI) online, with the formal application process expected to begin by the end of 2023.

Further information, including frequently asked questions about the STRA Incentive Scheme, including maximum rent chargeable by location, development planning approval reforms and the STRA Register, can be found on the STRA Initiatives web page. 

Comments attributed to Premier Roger Cook:

"Short-term rental accommodation remains an important part of Western Australia's tourism offering.

"However, it is impossible to ignore the impact this increasingly popular type of accommodation has had on some local neighbourhoods and communities.

"My Government has consulted extensively with industry, stakeholders and the community to develop these reforms, which will create a more level playing field with traditional accommodation providers while ensuring regulation is in place to manage impacts on neighbourhoods and housing supply for local communities.

"We are also doing everything we can to get more housing and rental properties onto the market quickly to help meet current demand, and I encourage owners of short-term rental accommodation to consider the new incentive and other benefits of transitioning their property to the long-term market."

Comments attributed to Treasurer Rita Saffioti:

"The State Government has recognised the need to balance regulation in the short-term rental accommodation sector - as is being done across Australia and overseas.

"There is a need to ensure that there are sufficient and affordable houses on the long‑term rental market while recognising STRA plays an important role in the tourism accommodation sector, which is of critical importance to many regional communities in WA."

Comments attributed to Commerce Minister Sue Ellery:

"The Cook Government is acutely aware of the current housing market across the country and its impacts on many Western Australians.

"It's acknowledged that there is no single solution to ease the current tight rental market, which is why our Government continues to drive a range of reforms to increase housing stock.

"The Short-Term Rental Accommodation Incentive Scheme aims to bring some short-term rentals back to the long-term rental market.

"The registration and planning changes ensure that a property can still be used as a short-term rental accommodation provided it is registered and has obtained all required planning approvals.  

"The information gathered by the STRA Register will help State and local Government to establish a clear picture of the STRA sector in Western Australian, including how many there are and where they are located."

Comments attributed to Planning Minister John Carey:

"These reforms are a balanced approach in providing greater regulation of short-stay accommodation across the State and provide an incentive for property owners to move their short-stay properties to the long-term private rental market.

"The planning approval process provides an opportunity for potential impacts of un-hosted STRA to be assessed and management measures put in place - providing a much more consistent planning framework across the Perth metropolitan area.

"Planning approval will only be required for un-hosted STRA in the metropolitan area, if it is intended to be let for more than 90 nights (inclusive) in a 12-month period.

"I want to be clear - this is not a cap - rather an exemption from the requirement to obtain development approval if a STRA property is rented for less than 90 nights over 12 months.

"The new STRA planning reforms will provide local governments guidance on STRA land uses in their planning schemes and frameworks.

"Our Government recognises that regional markets can vary significantly and as such, require a localised response."

Consumer Protection
Media release
09 Nov 2023

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