RULES to set up suburban short-stay accommodation are archaic and stifle local tourism in the City of Canning, according to Parkwood resident Jaginder Singh.
Mr Singh built a three-bedroom, two-bathroom guesthouse in 2014 and said he was restricted to having long-term renters only as he was not permitted to use the property for short-term holiday accommodation.
While there was potential to open a bed and breakfast, he said his ancillary dwelling did not meet the B&B requirements that stipulated a maximum of four adult guests or a family, inclusion of breakfast, and two guest bedrooms only.
He said when he initially advertised the property on Airbnb as a short-term rental several years ago, it was quickly taken up by tourists; it was after neighbours complained to the City that his plans were thwarted.
The rules around provision of short-term accommodation do not take into account what tourists want, he said.
“Today’s tourists want to know where the local waterholes are, the local secrets – the things only the locals can tell them.
“Australia has a lot of challenges in terms of tourism. The economy now is in the doldrums. We are putting up more obstacles for the tourists to come.”
Mr Singh said the City told him his guesthouse was not in the right area because it was not close to buses and train stations.
“It doesn’t take into account the modern-day tourist. They don’t jump on buses, they don’t really jump on trains, they hire cars, they come with their family.”
In addition to promoting tourism, Mr Singh said short-term rentals offered another source of income for homeowners, including pensioners and fly-in fly-out workers with additional space in their homes.
“These rules are making us not very friendly. We need to be more open. Tourism is a huge industry and employer that we could be benefiting from.”
He called on the City and the State Government to change requirements so more short-term rentals were permitted in suburban areas.
A City spokesman said the Town Planning Scheme regulated B&Bs and holiday homes and the WA Planning Commission’s guidelines on short-term accommodation assisted decision making.