Some of Australia’s strictest laws for Airbnb and holiday home users have been ratified in one of the country’s busiest tourism and wine regions.
- Busselton has the power to deregister holiday homes that don’t comply with new stricter rules
- Rules apply to dog monitoring and night curfews for guests
- Local mayor says some operators didn’t take community concerns seriously
Local laws passed by the City of Busselton in the South-West holiday hotspot region of Western Australia impose a nightly curfew on guests and require pet dogs to never be left unattended.
It is part of a second phase of regulatory changes that give the city, which includes the popular tourist areas of Dunsboro, Yellingup and parts of the Margaret River, the power to deregister holiday homes that do not comply with the new code of conduct.
It also mandates property managers to respond to questions from the public within 12 hours.
Busselton Mayor Grant Henley said the new rules meant short-term rental managers were now on notice.
“It certainly gives us a mechanism and a trigger to potentially unregister and not re-register some businesses if they are doing the wrong thing,” Mr Henley said.
“It’s built up over the years that they get these repeated bad visitors who make an impact on the local community and that managers don’t take those concerns seriously.”
Curfew and dog rules await guests
The code of conduct for holiday home visitors was finalized in April and includes a limit on the number of guests after 10 p.m.
It is also mandatory that the owners display a sign with the contact details of the manager visible from the road.
People renting short-term accommodation will also be prohibited from leaving their dogs unattended on the property anytime.
Changes that go into effect in September also include:
- Strengthening the position of garbage removal
- The need for a code of conduct is visible on campus
- Setting the maximum number of vehicles that can be parked on the property
Local operators have previously supported the move, claiming it leveled the playing field between them and larger online providers like Airbnb and Stays.
John Ryall owns the exclusive Escape Dunsboro, which manages about 100 properties in downtown Busselton, and said it has allowed all managers to function equally.
Zoning changes to come next
The third phase of regulatory changes proposed by the City of Busselton may see commercial holiday homes restricted from certain residential areas.
“Those areas that are predominantly urban, have a reasonable density, are not suitable for further vacation homes, we may consider stopping that growth in some of those areas,” Mr. Henley said.
“But we are waiting to see what is the outcome of the state government considering its own regulatory framework.”