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Melbourne Council Considers $350 Registration Fee for Short-Stay Accommodations Like Airbnb

Melbourne Council is considering charging short-stay accommodation providers a yearly $350 registration fee to push more properties into the long-term rental market.

According to open-source data inside Airbnb, the City of Melbourne has 5,000 homes or apartments listed on Airbnb.

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Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp says the data indicates fewer homes for workers and students who want to live in the city.

Ms Capp says Melbourne’s rental vacancy is well below a healthy vacancy rate, sitting at 0.8 per cent.

She argued that the decision would not impact tourism as many hotel options were available in inner Melbourne.

“We’re very conscious of the housing statement, but we don’t have any certainty yet as to what their plans are, and we want to get on with it,” Ms Capp told AFR Weekend.

“We are in a housing crisis. Every home that becomes available matters. That’s why we’re looking at ways to encourage property owners to move into the long-term rental market,” she said.

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“As Australia’s fastest growing city, we are considering all options that will deliver more housing – and the quickest way to do that is to utilise housing that is already in place.”

However, the proposal also sparked controversy, with Dr Michael Fotheringham saying the proposed reform was a “toe in the water”.

“Anything we do that encourages property owners to put their investment properties into the actual residential rental market, rather than the tourism market, is a positive thing,” he told The Guardian.

“But it’s a small step being proposed.”

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