Brisbane residents are being asked to dob in properties they suspect are being used for short-term accommodation such as Airbnb.
The move comes three months after Brisbane City Council introduced a new rates category for short-term accommodation properties, hiking their rates by 50 per cent.
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner on Tuesday announced residents would be sent a letter with their next rates bill, asking for information on local properties that were being used for short-term rentals via platforms such as Airbnb, Bookings.com, and Stayz.
“I’d be happy if this new rating category didn’t raise a single dollar,” Cr Schrinner said.
“Brisbane currently has a severe housing shortage because not enough homes are being built to meet demand.
“We want this new rating category to convince owners to return properties to the long-term rental market so they can be permanent homes.”
Owners of short-term rentals will also be encouraged to register their own properties on the council website.
Properties will fall under the new category if the entire home has been offered, available, or used as short-term accommodation for more than 60 days per year, but owners who rent out a single room are excluded.
The council estimates that the 50 per cent increase means the owner of a typical Brisbane home who uses it for short-term rentals will pay about $985 extra annually.
CoreLogic this week reported it was not yet clear if landlords were passing on the additional cost of rising interest rates to long-term renters, but Brisbane’s rental vacancy rate had crept up from record lows of 0.9 per cent earlier this year to 1 per cent in August.
Efforts to identify Airbnbs
The council’s finance spokeswoman, Councillor Fiona Cunningham, said it would take time to identify all of the eligible properties for the new rating category.