Strict Airbnb, holiday home laws now enforced in Busselton, Dunsborough, Yallingup

Some of Australia’s strictest laws for Airbnb and holiday home users have been approved in one of the country’s busiest tourism and wine regions.

The local laws passed by the City of Busselton in Western Australia’s south-west holiday hotspot region impose a night curfew on guests and require pet dogs to never be left unattended.

It’s part of the second stage of regulatory changes that give the city, which includes the popular tourist of Dunsborough, Yallingup, and parts of Margaret River, the power to deregister holiday homes not adhere to the new code of conduct.

It also mandates property managers to respond to queries from the public within 12 hours.

Busselton and Margaret River is one of the country’s biggest tourist holiday regions.(ABC South West WA: Sam Bold)

Busselton Mayor Grant Henley said the new regulations meant short-term rental managers were now on notice.

“It certainly gives us a mechanism and a trigger to potentially deregister and to not re-register some businesses if they’re doing the wrong thing,” Mr Henley said.

“It’s been built up over a number of years that they just get these repeat bad visitors who impact on the local community and the managers don’t seem to be taking seriously those concerns.”

Curfews and dog rules await guests

The code of conduct for holiday home visitors was finalised in April and included a limit on the number of guests past 10pm.

It is also mandated that owners display a sign with the manager’s contact details visible from the street.

People renting short-term accommodation will also be forbidden from leaving their dogs unattended at the property at any time.

Canal rocks by the sea in WA's south-west region.
The South West region is popular with tourists and is home to more than 1,000 holiday homes.(Flickr: Natalie Maguire)

The changes due to come into effect in September also include:

  • Strengthening rubbish removal conditions
  • Require a code of conduct be visible on the premises
  • Setting a maximum number of vehicles to be parked at the property

Local operators previously supported the move, claiming it levels the playing field between them and the big online providers like Airbnb and Stayz.

John Ryall owns Exclusive Escapes Dunsborough, which manages about 100 properties in the City of Busselton, and said it allowed all managers to act in the same manner.

Zoning changes to come next

The third stage of regulatory changes proposed by the City of Busselton could see commercial holiday homes banned from some residential areas.

A drone shot of a town at dusk
Zones could be applied to certain areas, restricting holiday home operations.(ABC News: Gian De Poloni)

“Areas that are predominantly urban, have a reasonable density, that aren’t suitable for further holiday homes, we may look at curbing that growth into some of those areas,” Mr Henley said.

“But we’re waiting to see what the outcome is of the state government’s consideration of their own regulatory framework.”

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