Annual charge on empty, foreign-owned, holiday homes

In the 2017 budget, the Government brought in a measure to discourage foreign owners holding Australian residential property as holiday homes that remain unoccupied for most of the year.

Where the property is unoccupied or not genuinely available on the rental market for more than 6 months of the year, the owner will be charged an annual levy. The levy will be equal to the foreign investment application fee that was paid on the initial acquisition. This would be around $5,500 for a one-million-dollar property.

Will this really encourage these owners to rent out their holiday homes? If you own a million-dollar property that you want to be able to visit whenever you like, a $5,500 fee to keep it that way might not seem to steep.

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