Aussies urged to dob in their neighbours to fix this major problem

Brisbane City Council is getting tough on Queensland’s rental crisis by encouraging residents to turn on each other.

Those suspicious of neighbours running “pseudo hotels” by renting out their property for short-term stays on platforms like Airbnb are being urged to speak up.

The move comes three months after the council slapped residents with a new rates category for short-term accommodation properties.

Under the new terms, owners who lease out typical Brisbane homes for short-term stays will be hit with a 50 per cent price hike and forced to fork out an extra $985 each year.

Brisbane skyline.
Residents in Brisbane are being urged to dob one another in if they believe their neighbours are secretly renting out their homes for short-term stays on Airbnb. Source: Getty

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner hopes the increased cost will force more owners to move to long-term leasing.

“Brisbane currently has a severe housing shortage because not enough homes are being built to meet demand,” he said.

“We want this new rating category to convince owners to return properties to the long-term rental market so they can be permanent homes.”

According to Domain data, Brisbane’s vacancy rate has plunged to a record low of 0.6 per cent.

Flying under the radar

Any properties that are offered, available or used as short-term accommodation for more than 60 days each year will fall under the new category, with owners encouraged to register their homes on the council website.

But fears that many are keeping quiet and secretly renting out their properties to dodge the rates increase has prompted the council to take action.

On Tuesday it confirmed that residents will be sent a letter with their next rates bill, asking for information on local properties being used for short-term rentals on platforms like Airbnb, and Stayz.

The rooftops of houses (left) and a bedroom (right).
Homeowners renting out their properties for short-term stays for more than 60 days a year will need to pay a higher tax rate. Source: AAP/Getty

“Some residents have suddenly found themselves living next to pseudo hotels and this has created problems,” Councillor Schrinner said.

“Owners using properties as short-term accommodation are reaping commercial returns so it is only fair that they pay a commercial level of rates.”

While the council says it would prefer if people self-nominate, systems are in place to catch anyone flying under the radar.

“Through technology that’s available, council can identify properties that have been listed on short-term accommodation websites for 60 days,” the council’s finance spokesman Fiona Cunningham said.

“This is about trying to push properties back into the private rental market while ensuring those that continue to be used on a short-term basis pay their fair share.”

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.