Hotels

Should Airbnb have the same regulations as the short stay sector?

The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) Western Australia is calling stricter regulations for online short stay accommodation providers such as Airbnb.

The AHA’s Western Australia sect would like to see the online players be subject to the same regulations as the licensed short stay sector (such as hotels and bed and breakfasts).

Bradley Woods, the CEO of the AHA Western Australia sect, said the inequality that exists between regulated and unregulated accommodation needs to be addressed.

According to AHA, Western Australia has seen unprecedented growth in unregistered short stay accommodation.

“Online booking platforms present themselves as providers of ‘shared’ accommodation, yet the majority of properties are for entire homes or apartments and bypass the licensing, taxation and regulatory requirements imposed on traditional accommodation providers,” the association said in a statement.

While this remains unregulated, the AHA claims companies like Airbnb are threatening the viability of traditional accommodation providers who play by the rules and jeopardising employment and training outcomes.

“It has become abundantly clear that ‘sharing’ platforms are simply not what they purport to be and are instead platforms that help some providers bypass the rules and regulations that hotels and B&B’s are expected to abide by,” Woods said.

The AHA is proposing a simple 5 Point Plan that balances the benefit for tourism from genuine home sharing but protects WA’s hotel industry and the thousands of jobs it supports.

1. Only a host’s primary residence may be listed for sharing.

2. Listing of entire properties for stays under 14 days prohibited.

3. Harmonise fire, safety, building code and insurance requirements with hotel industry.

4. Home sharing properties must be registered, to enable compliance monitoring.

5. Registration fee payable, to fund administration and compliance monitoring.

“In the absence of any meaningful regulation, online short stay accommodation platforms that list unregistered properties are not just disrupting, but diseasing the hotel industry,” Woods said.

“The AHA supports genuine shared, hosted accommodation however some online platforms moved away from this business model long ago and now compete directly with hotels.”

“The numbers speak for themselves with 61 per cent of listings for entire homes or apartments, mimicking hotel accommodation yet list properties that do not have to comply with the same regulations as regulated accommodation providers.”

“There are simply too many Western Australians who rely on the accommodation sector for their ongoing employment to allow this regulatory inequity to continue.”

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

  • http://hookcommunications.com.au/ Peter Hook

    This is a very sensible policy suggestion by the AHA. If Airbnb is truly about home “sharing”, then they will have no issues about it being restricted to residents home-sharing (as the name implies). However, if a property owner owns 10 apartments and takes them off the long-term rental market to compete against legitimate, regulated short term accommodation – like family-run B&Bs and motels – why shouldn’t they be subject to the regulations that apply to other commercial short-term operators? They keep on saying they want to work within reasonable rules – these are exceptionally reasonable. Or perhaps they want to protect commercial property players who don’t want to play by the rules?

  • Bruce

    Absurd ideas designed to stamp out competition and force consumers to pay more than they need to. Red tape and big Government. Consumers do not expect the same thing when renting an apartment vs a hotel room. And 14 days minimum rental period is outrageous. If they want action they should suggest LESS rules for hotels etc not more rules for others.

  • sting

    …oh wow… I’m quite surprise paying taxes is not in the list..

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