Skip to main content

Short-Term Rental Accommodation Planning Reforms

Under proposed changes to planning regulations and guidelines, development approval will be required for un-hosted STRA properties in the Perth metro area if rented over 90 nights in a 12-month period. Local governments will set planning requirements for STRA in the regions (including Peel).

Planning and registration changes

The State Government is progressing legislation to improve regulation around the Short-Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) sector.

The below information outlines the changes that will take effect in 2024 with the introduction of new legislation and a registration requirement for STRA properties.

The changes will provide certainty and consistency across the sector and clarity on when planning (development) approval is required to operate a STRA property.

What is STRA?

Short-Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) refers to the practice of renting out a property (or part of a property) for a relatively short period of time, usually on a nightly or weekly basis.

This type of accommodation is usually booked through online platforms and is popular among travellers and visitors seeking temporary lodging for holidays, business trips or other short stays.

STRA can include types of properties that have not been developed for traditional accommodation purposes (e.g., hotels) and can include apartments, houses or even individual rooms within a host’s residence.

STRA properties are either hosted – where the host lives onsite, or un-hosted – where guests have exclusive use of an entire house, unit or apartment.

What do the changes mean for STRA operators?

Broadly speaking, the changes will ensure a more consistent set of rules for STRA properties across Western Australia, while supporting the role of STRA in regional areas.

Up until now, local governments have set their own requirements on whether approvals are required to establish STRA, as well as enforcement matters.

The proposed changes to planning regulations will provide greater consistency across the State in relation to what approvals are needed (if any) for STRA proposals, as well as how these uses are defined in local (town) planning schemes.

Importantly, the changes do not introduce a cap on the number of nights a property can be leased on the short-term market.

Along with a new registration scheme, the changes will provide important data for both local and State government to inform strategic planning for housing, development and tourism opportunities.

STRA Register

The STRA Register will collect information on the short-term rental accommodation sector to assist the State Government to make more informed policy and regulatory decisions.

The register will also provide information to the community about what STRA exists in an area.

The register is expected to open in mid-2024. All STRA will need to be registered by 1 January 2025. In addition, property owners will have until 1 January 2026 to provide evidence of compliance with local planning requirements to remain registered.

You must register your STRA property regardless of whether:

  • guests stay in your property with you (hosted) or stay by themselves (un-hosted).
  • the property requires development approval.
  • the property is currently exempt from planning approval (via a development application)

What do the changes mean for tourism and STRA?

A new planning policy, Position Statement: Planning for Tourism and Short-Term Rental Accommodation and associated guidelines provide guidance on how to better manage the land use impacts of tourism and STRA activities — particularly in residential areas.

A property can be operated as a short-term rental year-round, provided it has obtained the required planning approvals and is registered.

Key changes to Western Australia’s planning framework include:

  • state-wide planning exemptions for hosted STRA;
  • new planning exemptions for un-hosted STRA within the Perth metropolitan area;
  • regional local governments (including Peel) to implement planning rules to suit the needs of their communities; and
  • new and revised definitions to be introduced into all local government planning schemes which deal with STRA and tourism land uses

To implement the changes, current planning regulations will need to be updated and local planning schemes amended. These changes will be implemented in conjunction with a new state-wide registration scheme for STRA.

What are the new planning requirements for STRA properties?

The changes do not introduce caps for STRA properties in Western Australia.

Hosted STRA will be exempt from the requirement to obtain development (planning) approval as the primary owner or occupier of the residence remains onsite for the duration of a guest’s stay. This means they can manage any issues that may arise, such as noise or parking, and is therefore considered to have very minimal impact on residential amenity and housing.

An exemption from the requirement to obtain development approval will be in place where an un-hosted STRA does not intend to rent their property out for more than 90-nights within a 12-month period.

Proposals that do intend to rent out the property for more than 90-nights will require development approval from the local government prior to registration and operation.

This single set of rules for Perth will ensure greater consistency across the metropolitan area and will allow the local government to assess higher-impact proposals on a case-by-case basis, also allowing for consultation to occur where necessary.

The 90-night exemption caters for property owners who wish to let out their primary residence for un-hosted STRA on a temporary basis (e.g., when on holidays) without needing development approval.

Each local government authority will have the flexibility to determine planning approval requirements based on local conditions and needs.
The changes to the planning framework will include a consistent set of planning approval requirements for un-hosted STRA across the Perth metropolitan area and provide for regional local governments to determine the most appropriate requirements for STRA properties in their locality.

Existing planning approvals for STRA will remain valid.

If you operate an un-hosted STRA and do not have planning approval, you need to check with your local government to ensure compliance.

  • Late 2023 – Releasing of Planning position statement
  • Mid 2024 – Amendments to Planning Regulations
  • Mid 2024 – Local government commence amendments to include STRA into local planning schemes
  • Early 2024 – Introduction of STRA Register legislation to Parliament
  • Mid 2024 – STRA Register opens
  • 1 January 2025 – Registration becomes mandatory
  • 1 January 2026 – Property owners must demonstrate compliance with local planning requirements or risk de-registration

New planning policy and updates to regulations

The new planning policy aims to provide direction on how to better manage the land use impacts of tourism and STRA activities - particularly in residential areas.

Currently, planning regulations are being updates to include new land use definitions and exemptions for STRA. Following this, local planning schemes will be amended to reflect these changes. These updates will be implemented in conjunction with the state-wide STRA Register.

New definitions

New and amended tourism-related definitions will be included in the updated Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015. These will help ensure consistency throughout Western Australia in relation to how STRA is defined within planning laws, regulations and other types of documents.

STRA properties are either hosted - where the owner or permanent resident (host) lives onsite, or un-hosted - where the owner or permanent resident does not live on the property and guests have exclusive use of an entire house, unit or apartment.

Position statement and guidelines

For more information about the Western Australian Planning Commission's Position Statement and Guidelines, visit Short-Term Rental Accommodation.

STRA planning and registration changes fact sheet and infographic

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and Consumer Protection's Short-Term Rental Accommodation planning and registration changes fact sheet and infographic provides more information about the proposed planning changes and STRA Register.

Contact

If you have any questions about the STRA planning requirements, you can contact the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage on (08) 6551 8002, or email: [email protected].

Find out more information about Short Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) Initiatives.

Frequently asked questions

Where STRA is not exempt, development approval will be required from the applicable local government. This approval is called a development approval. The development approval process allows local governments to assess a proposal in more detail to determine whether it is appropriate for a location and may also include consultation with neighbouring landowners.

In the Perth metropolitan area, development approval will be required where it is the intention that un-hosted STRA will operate for more than 90 nights (inclusive) within a 12 month period.

Outside the Perth metropolitan area - including the Peel region - un-hosted STRA will be subject to planning provisions set by the applicable local government. This is to ensure that rules for STRA are tailored to suit the tourism and housing conditions of specific locations.

In 2019, a Parliamentary inquiry Levelling the Playing Field: Managing the impact of the rapid increase of short-term rentals in Western Australia identified a whole-of-government response for the regulation of STRA.

The changes ensure a more consistent set of rules apply to STRA in WA, while acknowledging the role it plays in providing alternative accommodation options in certain localities.

Up until now, local governments have set their own requirements on whether approvals are required to establish STRA, as well as enforcement matters.

The proposed changes to planning regulations will provide greater consistency across the state in relation to what approvals are needed (if any) for STRA proposals, as well as how these uses are defined in local (town) planning schemes. Through doing this, we can ensure a user-friendly approach to obtaining necessary approvals for higher impact STRA, while still allowing local governments to assess amenity matters.

These changes will provide both local and state government with insight into where these types of accommodations are occurring. They will also afford an extra layer of transparency and peace-of-mind for all operators and users of STRA within WA.

All LGAs will be expected to amend their local planning schemes to implement the policy changes throughout 2025 and be able to issue development approvals by 1 January 2026, if required.

Local governments will be making changes to their local laws at different times in the lead up to 1 January 2026 so STRA property owners will need to make sure they comply with planning requirements in their local governments as and when they change.

It is considered that STRA can have impacts on the local neighbourhood and residential amenity, particularly where a host is not present onsite to manage guests and deal with disturbances. Commonly reported issues with un-hosted STRA include noise or anti social behaviour from ‘party houses’, increased demand for on-street car parking as well as higher demand for local services such as rubbish collection.

The development approval process allows local government to better understand where STRA is occurring in a neighbourhood, assess the impacts of existing and proposed STRA, as well as ensure that strategies are in place to manage these if any issues arise.

These changes seek to strike a balance between maintaining choice in accommodation options for visitors, providing flexibility for owners to rent out their properties on the short term market, whilst ensuring some form of regulation is in place to manage impacts on both local neighbourhood amenity and housing supply for the broader community.

A 90-night exemption is considered a fair balance to accommodate those who wish to rent out their property on ad-hoc occasions, such as when they are away on holidays.

Regional local governments, with the assistance of the Western Australian Planning Commission, will need to amend their planning schemes to include new land use definitions for STRA, to ensure consistency across the state in terms of how these uses are defined from a planning perspective.

If your property is located outside the Perth metropolitan area, please contact your local government to ascertain what planning (or other) approvals may be required to operate a STRA from your property.

No. Caps to restrict the number of nights a property can be let out as STRA are not proposed. Instead, what is proposed is an exemption from the requirement to obtain development approval in the Perth metropolitan area only if un-hosted STRA is let out less than 90 nights within a 12-month period.

Hosted STRA will be exempt from the requirement to obtain a development approval across the entire state because the impacts of this type of use are considered to be minimal, given the primary occupier of the property remains onsite for the duration of the stay.

By definition, hosted STRA remains the host’s primary residence throughout the duration of a visitor’s stay. Having a host permanently on the property helps to manage some of the amenity concerns that can be associated with STRA. Hosted STRA, by its very nature, also continues to provide permanent accommodation to the host in addition to the short-term guests, meaning it does not impact local housing supply in the same way as un-hosted STRA.

These changes are not intended to capture the following forms of short-term and temporary accommodation, which are often subject to either alternative guidance and legislation or approvals by government:

  • house swapping and house sitting
  • lodgers and boarders
  • personal use of a holiday home or the sharing of a holiday home with the owner’s family and friends
  • student exchange accommodation
  • workforce accommodation
  • residential parks, park home parks and lifestyle villages.

The changes also do not impact traditional forms of tourist or serviced accommodation such as hostels, hotels, caravan parks, motels resorts and serviced apartments.

Under these changes, property owners will still have the choice to operate STRA from their property. If you already have planning (development) approval from your local government, you can continue to operate.
Contact your local government for further information on lodging a development application (for a change of use), including application requirements and fees. A separate building permit may also be required should any structural changes be required to a building to facilitate a STRA proposal.
It can take up to 90 days for the local government to determine a development application, depending on the public advertising (i.e consultation) requirements applicable in your area.
Existing development approvals will continue to apply after the introduction of these changes. In some cases, the conditions of a development approval may include a time limit (e.g. the approval is valid for three years). If your development approval expires, it will be necessary to obtain a new approval. If you are unsure about the validity of your existing development approval, check with your local government.
It is an offence under the Planning and Development Act 2005 to use land without having obtained the correct development approval. If you do not obtain development approval, you may be subject to compliance proceedings and penalties from the local government.

The Western Australian Planning Commission policy outlines the State Government’s approach to changing town planning rules to better regulate STRA in WA. The policy also details a number of other matters relating to how both the State and local governments can better plan for tourism, especially from the longer-term/strategic perspective.

To view the Position Statement and Guidelines visit the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage website: Short-Term Rental Accommodation.

Key dates

Mid 2024

State-Wide STRA Register to open to registrations

1 January 2025

Deadline for all STRA properties to be registered

1 January 2026

Deadline for LGAs to amend their local planning schemes to implement the policy changes and be able to issue development approvals.

For more information on the Tourism and STRA Position Statement, including changes to the planning regulations and local planning schemes, contact Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage on (08) 6551 8002, or email [email protected].

I want to let out my property while I go on a four-week holiday.

  • No development approval is required in the Perth metropolitan area, where the property is not rented for more than 90 nights within a 12-month period
  • If you are in a regional area, check with your local government to determine if development approval is required
  • Registration on the STRA Register will be required.

I have a holiday house that I let out throughout the year when my family and I don't use it.

  • Within Perth metropolitan area, development approval is required if the property is rented for more than 90 nights (inclusive) within 12-month period (if development approval not previously obtained)
  • Outside Perth metropolitan area (including Peel) - requirement for development approval will be determined by your local government
  • Registration on the STRA Register will be required

I am going caravanning around Australia for six months and want to let out my property for STRA while I am away, so I can manage my housing situation if I have to come back early.

  • Within the Perth metropolitan area, development approval is required (if development approval has not previously been obtained)
  • Outside the Perth metropolitan area (including Peel), requirement for development approval will be determined by the applicable local government
  • Registration on the STRA Register will be required

I own an investment property which I let out for STRA all year round.

  • Within the Perth metropolitan area, development approval is required (if development approval has not previously been obtained)
  • Outside the Perth metropolitan area (including Peel), the requirement for development approval will be determined by the applicable local government
  • Registration on the STRA Register will be required

I own my house and have two spare rooms that I let out for STRA to provide me with a secondary income.

  • No development approval is required in the metropolitan or regional areas
  • Registration on the STRA Register will be required

Each year my family and I house-swap with our friends in Broome for a month.

  • No development approval or registration on the STRA Register is required
  • This does not meet the definition of STRA and is not covered as part of the reforms