Peak property body Strata Community Association (Qld) (SCA (Qld)) has welcomed the announcement of a 50% premium on rates for short-term accommodation in today’s Brisbane City Council Budget but argues this indicates a need for the state to devolve power to local communities. SCA (Qld) President, Kristi Kinast, maintains Air BNB is one of the biggest problems in Queensland strata communities and hopes today’s announcement by Council will drive action by the State Government.
“Brisbane City Council’s announcement today affirms what we already know in the Queensland strata sector: short-term letting is a serious problem in the housing market and for residential amenity in strata complexes,” said Ms Kinast.
“As the industry association for body corporate managers, our members hear countless stories of properties being used for parties and anti-social behaviour, with committees and residents absolutely powerless to act. It is a serious issue in terms of the liveability for many people in strata communities.”
Ms. Kinast said whilst Council’s action was a positive step, the ultimate power to solve this issue was with the State Government.
“SCA (Qld) has been advocating to the State Government to pass legislation for a long time now which would allow bodies corporate to pass a by-law allowing them to ban short-term letting – this is currently impossible for 99% of Queensland’s strata communities.”
“SCA (Qld) believes this is a good policy that will help alleviate rental shortages and discourage short-term letting in strata schemes that were not intended for that purpose. However, the problem will be enforceability. As hard as Brisbane City Council Officers work, they cannot have eyes and ears in every unit block, townhouse complex and suburban six pack across the City The only way to have eyes on the ground is to devolve authority to bodies corporate.”
“A Council Officer cannot be on-site in every complex where there is a problem, but where a committee elected by unit owners is on-site and active, quick action can be taken on these problems. A committee chair
on-site and a local body corporate manager are far more likely to be able to enforce restrictions on short-term letting quickly and easily.”
Ms. Kinast believes bodies corporate need to be empowered by any reform to come from the State Government. “SCA (Qld) believes any reform by State Government needs to allow more control for bodies corporate over their own destiny. There is no reason that State Government legislation should continue to leave them unable to make decisions about how their communities are run.”