The cash payment is part of several measures aimed at easing the housing crisis, including a new state-wide register for all short-term rentals listed on platforms such as Airbnb and Stayz.

While the register has been widely welcomed, the cash payment has been panned as a “band-aid attempt” to fix the state’s housing crisis.

It’s the latest push from state governments around the country to get non-hosted short-term accommodation into the long-term rental market, with a recent 7.5% tax on short stay rental properties in Victoria and a 60-day cap on some short-term rentals across Byron Bay in NSW.

The changes are targeted at trying to alleviate the national rental crisis and help renters, who continue to face rising rents due to the lack of available rental homes.

It comes as the latest annual National Shelter-SGS Economics and Planning Rental Affordability Index found rental affordability has gotten worse in all major cities and regions except for Hobart and Canberra.

Melbourne and Canberra are the only cities left with acceptable rents for their average household incomes, the report found.

How the WA scheme will work

To qualify for the $10,000 payment, property owners must have had an entire property in WA for rent on a short stay booking platform within the past six weeks and will need to provide a minimum 12-month lease to new long-term tenants.

To encourage property owners to transition now the scheme will run for just six months, and property owners will need to meet affordable rent conditions depending on the location of the property.

They will receive $4,000 if their application is approved, and the outstanding $6,000 once the rental agreement reaches 12 months.

Short stay property owners will also need to register their properties to a state-wide register once the registration scheme opens from mid-2024.

Stayz government and corporate affairs senior director Eacham Curry said the WA government had taken a positive first step on short-term rental accommodation regulations.

Airbnb Australia and New Zealand head of public policy Michael Crosby said the state-wide registration scheme would inform policymakers and the public about the short stay accommodation market in the state.

However, Mr Crosby said the incentive cash payment was unlikely to make a significant difference to housing supply, given short-term rentals in WA made up a small percent of total housing stock.

WA Tourism Minister Louise Kingston said the payment was a band-aid attempt to fix the housing crisis.

“They’re essentially paying off owners of short-stay accommodation to take their properties off the tourism market,” she said.

“A shrink in the supply of short-stay accommodation will adversely impact prices and send more people to Bali when we need to encourage them to holiday here.”

WA Premier Roger Cook said short-term rental accommodation remained an important part of the state’s tourism offering.

“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,” he said.

The new regulations include updated planning approvals for properties intended for short stay accommodation in the Perth area.

Airbnb contributed more than $1.1 billion in gross state product to the WA economy during the year to March 2023, according to Oxford Economics research commissioned by Airbnb.

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