Residents Encouraged to Dob in Short-term Accommodation Properties in Manly, Other Brisbane Areas

Residents of Manly and other areas of Brisbane are being encouraged to dob in properties that they believe are being used as short-term accommodation.

This comes after Council recently introduced a new rating category that charges property owners who are renting out properties through short-stay platforms with 50 per cent higher rates.

In early October 2022, Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner announced that residents will receive a letter along with their next rates bill, asking them to provide information on residential properties that are being rented out through platforms such as Airbnb,, and Stayz.

Manly and Wynnum, both popular bayside destinations, have a number of properties listed on such platforms. Those who own short-term rentals are likewise encouraged to voluntarily register their property on the Council website.

short-term accommodation
Photo Credit: Max Vakhtbovych / Pexels

Cr Schrinner said that Brisbane is currently experiencing a severe housing shortage due to the scarcity of new homes being built to answer the rising demand and he hopes that the new rating category, which was introduced beginning 1 July 2022, will convince owners to return their properties to the long-term rental market.

Council will also be utilising online technology to sift through the listing sites’ inventory of properties and identify those that have been made available on the short-term accommodation market for more than 60 days a year. 

The 50 per cent rate increase would mean that for an average short-term rental, the property owner will pay about $985 additional per year. However, owner-occupiers who rent out a spare room for short-term accommodation are excluded from the new rating category.

Moreover, Cr Schrinner said that the popularity of these short-term accommodation platforms has created problems for residents living next to the short-stay properties whilst the owners are reaping commercial returns for renting their property out. And so it’s “only fair,” he said, that they are charged with a commercial level of rates.

AirDNA data shows that there were 22 active short-term rentals in Manly for Q3 of 2022 from 16 in the previous period. Eighty-eight per cent of listed properties were on Airbnb whilst the rest are either listed on Vrbo or both.

Risky Business? Study Reveals Increase In Growth At Airbnb Properties In Moreton Bay Region & Other Areas In The Country

Airbnb rentals have recorded a spike in various parts of the country, including Moreton Bay Region. The records are based on a study by the University of Sydney as sponsored by the Australian Coastal Councils Association (ACCA) wherein 12 councils across the country have participated. The increase in growth also sheds light on its potential risks following several accidents that happened at Airbnb properties.

The councils that participated in the study are:

  • Bass Coast Shire Council (Vic)
  • City of Busselton (WA)
  • Byron Shire Council (NSW)
  • Douglas Shire Council (QLD)
  • Eurobodalla Shire Council (NSW)
  • Kiama Municipal Council (NSW)
  • Moreton Bay Regional Council (QLD)
  • Mornington Peninsula Shire Council (Victoria)
  • Moyne Shire Council (Victoria)
  • Port Macquarie-Hastings Council (NSW)
  • Shoalhaven City Council (NSW)
  • Sunshine Coast Council (QLD)

The housing rental platform was launched in the country in 2011 where over 130,000 properties were listed following its launch. Coastal communities show an even higher rate of short-term rental properties.

The research also shows that in just over 18 months from April 2016 to December 2017, the numbers of Airbnb properties have doubled in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, and WA.

Airbnb Risks

This alerted the ACCA. According to Barry Samels, the Chair of ACCA, “Traditional holiday accommodation providers are required to meet minimum fire and safety standards. As matters stand, these requirements do not apply to properties listed in Airbnb and similar platforms, posing a potential risk to guests,” he said.

There have been several accidents that happened over the years whilst guests were staying at Airbnb properties.

Last month, a four-year-old boy died whilst staying at an Airbnb rental in the Sunshine Coast. The child suffered head injuries after a swing set topped over and landed on him. The death of the child has raised questions on the liability when things like that happen at an Airbnb.

Apparently, a residential property listed on the platform is considered a commercial business thus its insurance coverage changes. Its insurance may cover storm, fire, and cyclone but it doesn’t cover legal liability portion of the home. Airbnb has free Host Protection Insurance, which has a coverage of up to $US1 million that involves third-party claims of physical injuries or property damage.

Better Council Standards

The study also showed that there are some areas that exceed existing tourism accommodation. With this, Professor Nicole Gurran, who headed the research said that the councils should set baseline standards for short-term rentals in residential areas. Data on short-term holiday rental platforms may also be helpful for local planning and management responses.

Ms Sammels also said that aside from the insurance risk, some of the councils also reported a spike in resident complaints and disruptions caused by Airbnb renters.

“Some permanent residents felt their community had been invaded by tourism and spoke of the stress involved in not knowing when a new party of visitors was likely to arrive next door and how they were going to behave within residential neighbourhood,” he said.

A Tax To Make Things Better?

Also last month, Airbnb expressed its desire to implement a “bed tax” for their clients who will be staying overnight in Queensland properties. This tax will deliver a 5% charge that will help boost local infrastructure and help cities with their revenue without sacrificing tourism.

However, the Palaszcuk government remains firm on their decision that they will not support this kind of tax in the state.