Cap is tough to police

Catherine MasseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
Margaret River Guest House owner Debbie Noonan.
Camera IconMargaret River Guest House owner Debbie Noonan. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr.

A cap on the occupancy rate for Airbnb properties has caused concern over how the rule will be policed.

The crackdown came as the platform aimed to better follow physical distancing requirements, but South West locals are concerned the policing responsibility now falls on them.

Regional Accommodation Providers Margaret River Region chief executive and Airbnb provider Debbie Noonan said her property had not received correspondence from the platform about the changes.

“I don’t really see how they’re going to police it or how they’re going to change what’s already happening to make that new rule take effect.”

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“As property owners we haven’t been told this is going to happen nor have we been told how it’s going to be policed, obviously one person will make the booking but the amount of people they turn up with is out of the control of most properties.”

A WA Police spokesperson said Airbnbs were not special properties and that noise and party complaints would be responded to in the same way as other complaints.

Airbnb public policy director Derek Nolan said the platform was confident in its reservation screening technology in controlling users who don’t follow the rules.

“This is about continually improving our systems to more efficiently find the needle in the haystack,” he said.

Mr Nolan said the ban was enforced to take action against guests and hosts who misbehave and allow short stay homes to become a chronic nuisance for neighbours.

“We are committed to working together with police and government so everyone can enjoy the benefits of responsible and sustainable tourism.”

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