Short-Term Holiday Letting Plan Given The Green Light

Tourists and residents will benefit from tougher but fairer regulation of short-term holiday letting, after the NSW Parliament passed the Government’s plan for the sector.

The reforms will bolster NSW’s sharing economy while clamping down on unruly guests. Our plan is a win-win for everyone involved in the industry.

Online booking platforms boost the tourism industry and play an important part in growing the economy, but this legislation also supports our zero-tolerance policy regarding raucous guests.

NSW Fair Trading is currently working with industry stakeholders to develop a new Code of Conduct that will manage impacts like noise levels, disruptive behaviour and impacts on shared neighbourhood amenities.

The mandatory Code will come into force next year and applies to online accommodation platforms, letting agents, hosts and guests across the State.

Under the ‘two strikes and you’re out’ policy, hosts or guests who commit two serious breaches of the Code within two years will be banned for five, and be listed on an exclusion register.

Amendments to the Strata Schemes Management Act are also being made so owners’ corporations can pass by-laws to ban short-term letting in their block, if the host is not present, and they get a 75 per cent majority vote.

NSW Fair Trading is currently developing ‘what you can and can’t do’ guidelines that will help owners’ corporations set rules that suit their strata schemes.

New state-wide planning rules would also come into force, including:

  • Allowing short-term holiday letting as exempt development 365 days per year when the host is present;
  • A limit for hosts to rent out properties via short-term holiday letting of 180 days in Greater Sydney, with 365 days allowed in all other areas of New South Wales when the host is not present;
  • Councils outside Greater Sydney having the power to decrease the 365-day threshold to no lower than 180 days per year; and,
  • Certain planning rules applying to bushfire prone land.

The 180 days a year equates to weekends, school holidays and public holidays so we felt this was a fair and balanced approach.

NSW will now have one of the best regulatory frameworks for short-term holiday letting in the world and a supportive approach to innovative tourism.

For more information on short-term holiday letting visit www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au