CHOICE: Airbnb provides consumers with an alternative to traditional accommodation providers.
CHOICE: Airbnb provides consumers with an alternative to traditional accommodation providers. Georgia

Headache over Airbnb

TRADITIONAL accommodation providers have welcomed the Whitsunday Regional Council's adopted strategy, to ensure higher levels of compliance for short-term Airbnb accommodation.

"The strategy is aimed at helping residents to lawfully establish short-term letting of their house or unit on Airbnb or similar websites,” Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said.

Owner of Whitsunday on the Beach, Sandra Mathison, said she was aware of at least 400 Airbnb's operating in the region and while she didn't have an issue with people letting their homes out for short term accommodation, she believed it needed to be done correctly.

"This is the first school holidays, that we haven't been full.” Ms Mathison said.

Commercial rates cost Ms Mathison $70,000 a year and at present Airbnb operators just pay standard home-owner rates.

Airbnb operators can now obtain an application kit from council, providing advice on the required applications and costs.

Cr Willcox said council's adopted strategy allowed it to better align the benefits of accommodation sharing with community expectations.

"Accommodation sharing has enabled many people to earn extra income from their residential properties,” he said.

"However this has created issues for council and residents, particularly when a landlord is absent and properties are used as 'party houses'.