New rules that will guide the regulation of short-term accommodation have been announced this week by the State Government and welcomed by Council as a step in the right direction.
Laws imposing new obligations on booking platforms, hosts, letting agents and guests started in NSW on 18 December 2020.
Council has received complaints in the past from residents and strata managers who were fed up with short-term letting (such as Airbnb) in residential properties, which were not being regulated.
At present, short-term accommodation according to Council’s LEP, should only be provided in hotels, hostels and serviced apartments etc.
The new laws which were announced by NSW Fair Trading impose new obligations on booking platforms, hosts, letting agents and guests from 18 December 2020.
This includes properties listed on Airbnb and other short-term letting websites.
A new Code of Conduct for guests from 18 December includes provisions such as:
- Guests must not make noise that unreasonably disrupts neighbours.
- Guests must not cause damage to the premises, including common property.
Anyone who is found breaking these rules could face penalties such as warning notices, fines or being added to an exclusion register. Anyone listed on the exclusion register will be prohibited from the short-term rental accommodation industry for five years.
The host also have obligations under the code of conduct which includes:
- Holding insurance that covers liability for third party injuries and death.
- Allowing neighbours to contact them or their managing agent between 8am to 5pm.
- Responsible for the actions of their visitors and must ensure they comply with the behaviour standards set out in the code including making it readily available to them
- Not renting out their premises to anyone on the exclusion register.
With the Code is in place, community members are able to make a complaint with Fair Trading if they believe that the code has been breached.
However, Council will still be the first port of call for issues or complaints relating to fire safety (including overcrowding), planning approvals, parking or ongoing noise.
As well as the code of conduct, A short-term rental accommodation premises register is currently being developed by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, with an aim to have it ready by mid-2021. Hosts will be required by law to register their premises once the register becomes available online.
Council as well as community members have been lobbying the State Government to have this growing industry regulated. A report went to Council about the matter in October 2019 where it resolved to make a submission to the State Government with recommendations.
More information can be found here: https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/housing-and-property/short-term-rental-accommodation