South Perth landowners could rent out property for up to three months annually under short-term accommodation plan

Mends Street, South Perth.
Mends Street, South Perth.

CITY of South Perth landowners will be allowed to rent out their property as self-contained visitor accommodation for up to three months a year if councillors adopt a draft planning policy for short term accommodation at next week’s council meeting.

As part of the draft policy, applicants of short-term accommodation will be required to submit a management plan to address occupancy, noise abatement, duration of stay, guest behaviour, management of check-in and departures and management of guest parking.

An officer’s report stated without a local planning policy covering these matters, particularly in regard to ‘holiday house’ and ‘serviced apartment’ uses, the City would be left to make decisions on such uses without any sensible guidance or framework.

The report said this would make decisions more difficult to defend if challenged by applicants in the State Administrative Tribunal.

South Perth resident Jackie Hair said she was opposed to the new planning policy as it lacked community safeguards.

“My opposition is not based on fear or speculation surrounding how such changes could potentially impact residents’ amenity, but on actually experiencing the impact from my neighbour’s five-bedroom Airbnb listed property,” she said.

“We understand the motivation of the City in increasing the density of tourist accommodation (and) thereby increasing spending and generating increased taxes but as an absolute minimum, every resident faced with this proposition should be given the opportunity to decide whether they wish to give expressed consent to their neighbour operating short-stay accommodation on a case-by-case basis.”

During a council briefing session yesterday, Councillor Tracie McDougall questioned whether there was a more robust mechanism to police applications than the proposed management plan.

An officer said a temporary approval for 12 months was a failsafe, that would allow council to reassess an application before deciding to accept or reject it.

To date more than 175 properties within the City’s boundaries can be found listed at Stayz.com and on Airbnb.