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Melbourne Cracks Down on Airbnb and Short Stays

Short Term Rentals Melbourne

short term rentals melbourne

The City of Melbourne is taking a bold step towards limiting short term rentals, following in the footsteps of other major cities worldwide. The rise of Airbnb and similar platforms has revolutionised the way we travel, but it has also brought about some unintended consequences. Melbourne’s decision is part of a growing global trend as cities grapple with how to balance the benefits of the sharing economy with the struggle for local residents to find long term housing.

Short Term Rentals: The Melbourne Situation

Melbourne, often touted as one of Australia’s most vibrant and culturally diverse cities, is no stranger to the allure of short-stay rentals. Platforms like Airbnb have offered travellers a more personalised and immersive experience, allowing them to stay in cozy homes rather than traditional hotels. However, as the short term rental market grew, so did concerns about its impact on housing availability and affordability for local residents.

The City of Melbourne recently voted in-principle to impose an annual registration fee for short stay hosts and add a cap on how many days per year a property can be rented as short stay accommodation. There is also discussions about setting a minimum stay of 30 days – as was recently announced in New York. The changes are aimed at limiting short-stay rentals in apartment buildings with the mission to prioritise permanent housing solutions for residents and curb the influx of short term rentals that lowers the supply of long term rental properties and drive up prices amidst the high demand we’re currently experiencing.

A Global Trend of Short Term Rentals

Melbourne’s move is not an isolated one. Cities around the world are facing similar challenges posed by the explosive growth of short-term rentals. Here are a few notable examples:

  • Barcelona, Spain: Barcelona has been at the forefront of regulating short-term rentals. The city implemented strict regulations, limiting the number of licenses available and cracking down on illegal listings. This approach aims to preserve the city’s unique character and combat rising rents.
  • Berlin, Germany: Berlin passed a law banning the short-term rental of entire apartments without a permit. The legislation was introduced to address the city’s housing shortage and protect the interests of long-term residents.
  • New York City, USA: New York has imposed restrictions on short-term rentals in multi-unit buildings, aiming to preserve affordable housing options for residents in a city where housing costs can be astronomical.
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam introduced a 30-day limit on short term rentals to strike a balance between tourism and the needs of residents. The city seeks to prevent investors from buying up properties solely for short term rentals.

These cities, like Melbourne, have recognised the need to regulate short-term rentals to protect their housing markets and ensure the well-being of their residents.

Balancing Act

The rise of Airbnb and similar platforms has undeniably transformed the way we travel, offering unique and authentic experiences. However, it has also presented challenges for cities worldwide in relation to housing availability, affordability, and community dynamics.

The approach to tackling these challenges varies from city to city, but the common thread is the recognition of the need for balance. While short term rentals can benefit both travelers and hosts, they should not come at the expense of long-term residents and affordable housing.

As Melbourne joins the global trend of tightening regulations on short-stay rentals, it’s a reminder that while the sharing economy has enriched our travel experiences, it must coexist harmoniously with the communities that make these destinations so appealing. The challenge lies in finding that elusive balance, and it’s a puzzle cities around the world are eager to solve.

We are already noticing more enquiries coming through from hosts of short term rentals to transition back to the long term rental market and if you’d like assistance with this, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Besser+Co who will be able to assist you with this.
With decades of experience locally and internationally in both small and large agencies. Proudly serving in Australia since 2009. A trusted property management company by Australians

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