The STRA incentive scheme will run for six months, and applies to anyone with a WA property listed for rent on platforms like Airbnb or Stayz.

Applicants need to offer a minimum twelve month lease to new tenants, and will receive $4,000 when the application is approved, then $6,000 after the lease has ran for 12 months.

To qualify, rent on the property cannot be charged above a maximum rate per region.

In Perth (Mandurah included), this will be $800 per week, and in the South West, $650.

STRA property owners can already submit expressions of interest, with the formal application process set to begin by the end of the year.

The Cook Government will also be establishing a state wide register which all short term rental properties must be listed on.

In the Perth metro area, local government approval will be needed for unhosted (where the owner of the property is not there at the same time as the guest) STRA that will be rented for more than 90 nights.

WA Premier Roger Cook said while short term rentals will continue to be an important part of WA tourism, it's "impossible to ignore" the impact they have had on rental supply.

"These reforms...will create a more level playing field with traditional accommodation providers while ensuring regulation is in place to manage impacts on neighbourhoods and housing supply for local communities," he said.

According to the most recent CoreLogic home value index, house and unit rents in Perth rose 12.7% and 16.6% respectively over the twelve months to October, the highest in Australia.

PropTrack's rental report found the vacancy rate in Perth was 0.7% in October, and 1.05% for the rest of WA.

However, WA shadow housing minister Steve Martin says the incentive scheme will do nothing to address the states lack of houses.

"Paying landlords to move their homes from the short-term rental market to a 12-month lease is nothing more than a short-term shuffle," he said.

The incentive scheme as it stands would mean an investor in WA with an AirBnB property could rent it out for twelve months, pocket the $10,000 then relist as short term accommodation.

Nevertheless, the WA Council of Social Services (WACOSS) and Shelter WA praised the reforms, WACOSS CEO Louise Giolitto saying it showed the Cook Government are "activating every lever available" to improve the housing supply.

"Essential workers and some of our most vulnerable people like single parent families have been struggling to keep a roof over their heads, while houses are sitting empty for significant periods of the year," Ms Giolitto said.

"These reforms will boost housing supply and hopefully reduce the demand on affordable houses for lower income families."

Eliza Owen, Head of Research at CoreLogic Australia, told Your Mortgage that with listings in Perth about 45% below the previous five year average, supply issues will probably be a recurring issue.

"It’s unlikely that an incentive to convert short term accommodation to long term rentals is a ‘silver bullet’ solution to the rental crisis, but it may add some properties back at the margin," Ms Owen said.

"The trade-off is if there are many short-term rentals that do get converted, there could be a shortage of holiday accommodation which dissuades holiday makers in certain areas, and hurts local economies with an emphasis on tourism."

Short term property register

A state wide register of these properties was one of the recommendations of a WA parliament enquiry into short stay accommodation.

Similar registers already exist in some WA regions, including Broome, but these reforms will create a new, centralised version for the entire state.

The register is expected to open halfway through next year, and all short term properties, including hosted ones, must be registered by 1 January 2025.

Unhosted short term rentals in Perth now need approval if the property will be rented out for more than 90 days, while the local government in regional areas will also determine whether approval is required.

Local governments are expected to amend their planning schemes to implement the new policy, and should be able to issue development approvals by 1 January 2026.

Commerce Minister Sue Ellery said the register isn't intended to hurt investors who list property on these platforms, but to help both state and local government establish a "clear picture" of the SRTA sector.

"The registration and planning changes ensure that a property can still be used as a short-term rental accommodation provided it is registered and has obtained all required planning approvals," she explained.

What is the policy on STRA in other states?

Registration rules Other restrictions
NSW STRA property in NSW needs to be registered through the NSW planning portal In several areas, including Greater Sydney, short term properties can only be rented out for a maximum of 180 days.
VIC Some LGA's require STRA to be registered. A 7.5% 'short stay levy' applies on income from these properties.
QLD Some LGA's require STRA to be registered. A review in August recommended a centralised registration system for the entire state. In Greater Brisbane, there is a 50% rate surcharge for short term properties.
SA Some LGA's require SRTA to be registered.
TAS Some LGA's require SRTA to be registered.  Booking platforms are required to collect and provide information about listed properties, including relevant permit information and how long the property is used as STRA.
NT No register exists
ACT No register exists