Industry Issues

Industry Issues pulls together some of the most interesting and important themes in the strata industry over the past few months.

Short-stay accommodation

The offering of short-term accommodation is an extremely popular option for investors and property owners, capitalising on the lucrative profitability that it presents, with limited barriers to entry.

The growth of online platforms like AirBnB and Stayz have, however, contributed to Australia’s burgeoning housing crisis, reducing the availability of long-term rental options and exacerbating what is already a significantly tight market.

Policy makers in all jurisdictions are considering their regulatory options to encourage the availability of stable long-term rental accommodation. Hobart City Council with 9 per cent of market are short stays, recently voted to double rates of short stays, amongst other changes. Similarly, in 2022 Brisbane City Council upped rates for short-stay accommodation properties by 50 per cent, recently revising that figure to 65 per cent.

The hope is that these changes encourage property owners to let their properties for the long-term, and release the significant pressure that is currently being placed on the housing market.

Gas connections and electrification

The push to ensure that all new homes built in Australia are 100% electrified is currently picking up steam. Clean energy advocates, along with government representatives like Independent MP Allegra Spender and Independent Senator David Pocock, are urging the Federal Government to ban gas connections to new builds.

While it may be cheaper to continue with the current building regulations as they are, this needs to be balanced with the substantial costs that may develop further down the line if they are required to be retrofitted with cleaner or electrified alternatives later on. It’s a multi-layered conversation, and governments need to consider the future of strata communities as they plan electrification and other sustainability changes and regulations and the supports they can provide to ensure their uptake.

Strata insurance service models

SCA is consistently endeavouring to explain the complexities of the strata insurance market not only to strata managers, service providers and owners, but also government, regulators and other consumer groups. SCA notes the recent decision by the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services Stephen Jones to uphold the recommendation contained in Michelle Levy’s independent Quality of Advice Review to retain current remuneration practices, including commissions. SCA is on the front foot in the strata insurance space, taking a progressive stance to improve disclosure practices and increase transparency industry-wide by developing best practice guides, templates and minimum requirements for disclosure based on independent research recommendations.

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