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Short-Term Rental Accommodation in Western Australia: All You Need to Know

Rentals Short Term in WA

The Rise of Short-Term Rental Accommodations (STRA) in Western Australia: What You Need to Know

Significant transformations in the way we travel and explore new destinations as well as online advancement have introduced the concept of “short-term stay” rental accommodation. Offering more flexibility, autonomy and genuine experience in their accommodations, short-term stays is now here to stay and have revolutionised the industry.

What are Short-Term Rental Accommodations (STRA)?

Short-term rental accommodations are temporary housing options that can be rented for a brief timeframe anywhere from a day to months. STRA involves renting out a property or a part of a property for a period of time, usually booked through online platforms for travellers and visitors seeking temporary lodging.
They can include properties not developed to accommodate traditional lodging requirements (for example hotels, hostels etc), often categorised as hosted (where the host lives onsite) and un-hosted (where exclusive use of the property is provided).
Typical properties include apartments, houses, condos, villas, or even rooms in shared homes. They offer a more home-like experience, often with fully equipped kitchens, living areas, and laundry facilities.

What are the STRA rules in Western Australia?

Following the recent legislation passed by the WA government in April, all short-term rental accommodation (STRA) will have to be registered by 1 January 2025. This covers both hosted and un-hosted property. The register will be open on 1 July 2024.

Developmental Approvals
According to REIWA, “Under the new laws, un-hosted STRA in the Perth metropolitan area that are let for more than 90 days in a 12-month period will be required to get development approval from their local government. In regional areas, which includes Peel, the relevant local government will determine if planning approval is needed.” However, hosted STRA will not have to get development approval at this stage.

Maximum prescribed lease period
There will be no cap on the number of nights a property can be let.

Concerns
Concerns for short-term stay could include tenants registering a property without the owner’s authorisation and sub-letting as short-term accommodation. Therefore, the register will have to include a declaration whether the registrant owns or leases the property.
Another concern is the properties being registered in contravention of strata-by-laws and this ensuring that the strata by-laws are adhered to. The Commissioner for Consumer Protection has the right to cancel the registration if strata by-laws are being violated.

What does the STRA Register Contain?

Full information is available on the website here. Some key information that we will highlight include:
– Mandatory register by 1 January 2025
– Registration fee and a renewal fee will be charged
– A registration number is allocated and this must be displayed when advertising a property for booking
– A ban on advertisements for unregistered STRA including a fine for advertisers and booking platforms
– Powers for Consumer Protection to cancel registration on grounds of false or misleading information as well as contravention on local laws etc
– Public can search, determine the property registration as well as view a heat map of available STRA properties in WA (expected in October 2024)

What has increased the demand for STRA?

The rising demand for flexible and reasonably priced housing has led to an unprecedented expansion in the short-term rental market in recent years. As per an Airbnb report, the quantity of tourists opting for short-term rentals has increased by more than 150% since 2016. Numerous factors have contributed to this rise in popularity for both the Guests and the Property Owners.
Benefits for Guests:
• Adaptability: Because they allow you to stay for as long or as short as you like, short-term rentals are the perfect choice for travellers with erratic schedules or those who want to take their time getting to know a place.
• Affordability: Catered especially for families or groups, renting a whole house or apartment is frequently less expensive than scheduling several hotel rooms.
• Authenticity: Living like a local and experiencing things firsthand is made possible by short-term rentals.
Benefits for Accommodation Owners
For homeowners, taking on short-term rentals can be a profitable endeavour that offers:
• Supplemental income: Given the rental prices recently, this could add to a sizable additional income stream by renting out a spare room or piece of real estate.
• New friendships: Having visitors from all over the world can be a fulfilling experience that promotes cross-cultural dialogue and new relationships.
• Adaptability: Establishing specified hours and days off allows entry to visitors whenever it’s most convenient.

The future of STRA would likely witness an increase in regulation ensuring that the community’s wellbeing is factored in. There are likely to be more controls and less misleading advertising while promoting a more trustworthy experience.

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