Council to consider short-stay changes
Published on 17 August 2021
Hobart City Council will consider taking steps to amend its planning scheme and seeking state government support to limit the number of new permits to convert entire homes to short-stay visitor accommodation.
At Monday evening’s City Planning Committee meeting, the committee considered a report that provided background on the current status of short-stay and long-term rental markets, examples of regulations in other cities, and the required steps to amend the planning scheme.
According to recent reporting by short-stay accommodation providers to the state government, there are 971 total listings in the Hobart local government area, 335 of which are not the host’s primary residence.
City Planning Committee Chair Helen Burnet said the growing number of vacant homes converted to visitor accommodation was concerning.
“We know housing affordability in Hobart is reaching crisis point and we have a responsibility to look at actions that could help address this,” Cr Burnet said.
“A study has recently found that Hobart had lost around 12 per cent of its long-term rental properties to visitor accommodation in just a couple of years.
“The recommendations to be considered by Council look at limiting the amount of self-contained, unhosted, entire-home listings in certain parts of our city as a means to reduce the loss of long-term rental properties. It builds on an existing policy for Battery Point.”
The proposed actions do not impact existing permit holders, or those intending to let part of their homes or an ancillary dwelling – such as a granny flat – on their properties.
Any changes to the planning scheme would need to be approved by the Tasmanian Planning Commission.
The resolution carried at Monday’s committee meeting recommends that the Council:
- Pursue the insertion of one or more specific area plans into the Hobart Local Provisions Schedule that prohibit entire home short stay accommodation use (excluding for ‘secondary residences’).
- Advocate to the Minister for Planning to issue a planning directive that immediately prohibits new permits for entire home short stay accommodation within the Hobart Local Government Area.
- Advocate for statewide regulations, similar to those in NSW, that enable councils to make decisions about properties within their local government area.
- Advocate to the Tasmanian Government to form a ‘Housing Supply Forecasting Council’ in line with Recommendation 5 of the report Regulating Short-Stay Accommodation in Tasmania: Issues to consider and options for reform.