Short stay rental report to be considered by Council

Published on 17 March 2023

The City of Launceston will consider a recommendation to investigate a differential rating model for short stay accommodation providers at next week's meeting.

Last August the Council resolved to develop a report examining the growth of short stay accommodation rental properties in the municipality to determine the impact on long-term rental offerings.

The report to be presented at next week's meeting found Launceston can now be classified as one of the most expensive rental housing markets in Australia.

"The median Launceston renter spends $450 per week for a three-bedroom home, rents have increased 12% in the last year and rental availability is 0.8 per cent," the report states. However, it also notes that determining the impacts of short stay accommodation on the city's rental market is complex.

"Overall, the short stay accommodation market of 516 properties constitutes under 2% of the available residential market of 31,274 properties," it states.

"The proportion of rental to overall private dwellings has remained at around 29-30% over 11 years, in spite of a 9.1% increase in private dwellings from 2016 to 2021. Importantly, short stay accommodation has not grown much faster than either private dwellings or rental dwellings.

"Accordingly, as formalised whole house or apartment short stay accommodation accounts for less than 1% of all dwellings and around 3.1% of all rented dwellings, it is not considered that short stay accommodation is a major driver of the housing stress which is being experienced within the City of Launceston."

While the report found housing stress in Launceston was more significantly impacted by increasing demand, rather than short stay accommodation, it notes that "experience in other localities has demonstrated that there is real potential for short stay accommodation to increase to a level whereby it can adversely impact upon the local rental market."

The report also highlights the importance of the Council's strategies to grow housing stock in the municipality over the coming decades, which include developing some 2000 new housing lots to the south of the city, planning for the future growth of suburbs like St Leonards, Alanvale, Rocherlea and Mowbray, and encouraging continued inner city residential development projects.

Alongside the report itself, Councillors will consider five officer recommendations next week, comprising:

1 — Request the Council's Chief Executive Officer to investigate the introduction of a differential rate for short stay accommodation providers in Launceston and provide options for the Council to consider;

2 — Lobby the State Government to require more transparent data be provided on short stay accommodation and the interactions on the long-term rental market. Specifically it must be easier to track the number of long term rentals that transition to short stay accommodations;

3 — Prioritise actions to create additional residential land within the City of Launceston;

4 — Continue to monitor the city's rental market with a specific focus on the number of short stay accommodations that are available within Launceston, and;

5 — Request the Local Government Association of Tasmania investigate and report on the implementation of vacant residential land tax for unoccupied homes within the State.


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