Brisbane City Council will deliver an ultimatum to property owners renting homes or apartments on short-stay accommodation platforms: deliver them back to the rental market or face a 50 per cent jump in their rates.
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner revealed the move, amid rising cost of living pressures and a shortage of available rental properties, before he handed down the council’s $4 billion budget on Wednesday morning.
Schrinner said if owners chose to list entire properties, not individual rooms, on the platforms “that is their choice”, but they would face a significant increase in their rates bill under Australia’s largest local government.
“Right now the priority is renters,” he said.
The council would rely on data searches available to the government and the large number of complaints — 275 in the past three years — it is receiving about such properties.
“We will be encouraging members of the public to let us know if a property is used for short-term rental purposes,” Schrinner said. “I know some owners will not like this approach.”
He said the move would mean the properties listed on short-stay platforms for more than 60 days each year would essentially pay commercial rates — a figure about $600 a year higher for those on the city’s minimum rating category.
After the Gold Coast announced a 4.3 per cent rise in its average residential rates on Tuesday, Schrinner said the average Brisbane property owner would experience a lower increase of less than $160 a year.
He would not be drawn on what the average rate increase would be, leaving that for his budget announcements and speech scheduled for later on Wednesday.
New inner-city Brisbane federal Greens MPs, who picked up three seats from Labor and the LNP at the recent federal election, have suggested discontent among renters was a key factor behind the parties losing their hold on the Queensland capital.
In 2020, Greens candidates polled more than 20 per cent — and even 30 per cent — of the primary vote across seven of the 26 wards making up the country’s largest local government, largely behind LNP administration councillors.
The council’s Labor opposition has recently called for millions in Olympic-related money to be reallocated to provide more housing options in the fast-growing city.