Hotelier Stayz hits out over crackdown

MAJOR online holiday provider Stayz has hit back at Melville council’s plans to crackdown on short-term rentals (“Crackdown on Melville Airbnb,” Herald, May 8, 2021).

The council is looking to limit guests to six, tighten up parking requirements and enforce tighter planning rules on where short-stayers can set up, but Stayz corporate affairs director Eacham Curry said the McGowan government was already working towards state-wide rules.

“To date the WA government has convened an interdepartmental taskforce to provide advice on development of such a framework, including a register of all short-term rental accommodation and a code of conduct,” Mr Curry said.

“When implemented correctly in other parts of the world, the registration of holiday rentals has proven to be a low-cost and effective way of informing the development of sensible rules for our growing sector.”

Mr Curry said a cap on guests wouldn’t address anti-social behaviour as well as a mandatory code of conduct with penalties.

“As the WA government continues the delicate task of re-opening the economy in a Covid-safe way, Stayz believes that short-term rentals have a key role to play in Perth’s economic recovery and now is not the time to risk this opportunity in pursuit of a policy that will fail to address the core questions about our sector.”

Mr Curry said Stayz had “every sympathy” for Melville having to field complaints about poor behaviour and short-stay rentals impacting on neighbours’ amenity.

“Council is often the first port of call for someone seeking answers about short-term rental accommodation and it’s completely understandable that council is seeking to improve neighbourhood amenity.”

But he said councils don’t have the tools to deal with the sector and urged Melville to lobby the state government to hurry along its reforms.

“Many of these reforms will codify best industry practice and enable platforms like Stayz to deal with anti-social behaviour swiftly and more decisively,” Mr Curry said.

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