Bayswater: council defers decision on short-term accomodation application to devise plan

Bayswater: council defers decision on short-term accomodation application to devise plan

AN application for short-term accommodation has prompted Bayswater council to address the needs of the “Uber generation”.

Homeowner Josephine Chua applied for short-term accommodation approval for her Cedar Street house in Bayswater to rent out two rooms to tourists through an international booking service such as Airbnb.

From 2015 to 2016, 15 groups with a maximum of five people, mainly families stayed from Malaysia, stayed in the rooms.

No one has rented the rooms since last year while council considered the application.

Despite an officer’s recommendation of approval, council has deferred the application and will create a short-term accommodation policy.

Neighbour Harry Porrins said he represented a couple of other families in the area who had concerns about the application.

“The City of Bayswater doesn’t have rules and regulations for short term accommodation,” he said.

“There is no intrinsic value to residents; all we get is more traffic.”

Mr Porrins said the street was very close-knit and had an annual Cedar Street Christmas party.

However, Ms Chua said she wanted to raise a family in the home with her husband in the future, but in the meantime rent out the rooms to help pay bills.

“We have spent a lot of time and money into the place we call home,” she said.

Ms Chua said she was not turning the house into a business or hotel and did not host guests when they were overseas.

She said the guests made a low level of noise, only parked on the driveway and had to provide a driver’s license, passport and agree to abide by the house rules before they came.

Mayor Barry McKenna called on council to defer the application and create a short-term accommodation policy.

He said they should “do it right, do it properly” for future planning.

Deputy Mayor Stephanie Coates said the application should be approved, as she did not think they would have a policy ready by next meeting.

“I think we should be allowing this to happen in the suburbs,” she said.

Cr Coates said the “Uber generation” was changing the way people lived.

She said the homely Cedar Street was a “great advertisement for Bayswater and Perth” and residents should invite the international guests to join their street Christmas party.

Cr John Rifici said using residential blocks for commercial purposes could reduce employment and strength of businesses in the community.

Planning and development services director Des Abel said the City did not receive many formal applications for short-term accommodation.

A search of Airbnb showed Bayswater suburb had six places available to rent next week, ranging from a room to a house, for $370 to $1353 for seven nights.

For the same week, Maylands had 35 rentals available, costing $200 to $1092.