Tourist and Visitor Accommodation

At present, North Sydney council’s planning controls do not allow tourist and visitor accommodation in residential zones. 

Council defines an Airbnb-type stay as short-term accommodation (and formally defined in the North Sydney LEP as tourist and visitor accommodation. Short term accommodation is considered a commercial activity and outside the permitted range of uses within the residential zones of the North Sydney LEP.

Properties in residential zones are for permanent residential occupation (usually defined as a period of three months or more) and not for short term letting.

Short term accommodation, according to the LEP, should only be provided in hotels, hostels, serviced apartments and the like. This means that short term letting, such as Airbnb in residential properties, is considered a prohibited use. Should a Development Application be lodged for such a use in a residential zoned property, it would likely be refused, as it is not a permitted use within this zoning.

Should a property be advertised on a site such as Airbnb and it is brought to Council's attention as a formal complaint, Building Compliance Officers will investigate the matter.

When you lodge a complaint, the following information is required:

  • Property address relating to the complaint
  • Your contact details. Council Officers will not disclose these details during the course of investigation, however, are essential if more information is sought regarding the frequency of the breach, impacts caused or further clarification of your concerns/issues are required.

If you have any specific questions regarding the following, please contact the Planning and Development Advisor:

  1. Phone: 9936 8100
  2. Email: council@northsydney.nsw.gov.au *Please include your name and contact telephone number(s) on any email.

Parliamentary Inquiry 

A Parliamentary inquiry was established by the State Government to consider the regulation of short-term holiday letting in NSW. The Legislative Assembly Committee on Environment and Planning has tabled a report that recommends legislative framework to regulate short-term holiday letting in NSW. The report titled 'Adequacy of the regulation of short-term holiday letting in NSW' recommends legislation that would permit people to rent out their properties on sites such as Airbnb and Stayz, with some conditions imposed.

For more information regarding the status of the inquiry: refer to the Parliament of NSW website

Council would welcome a legislative framework that will provide clearer guidelines on how to define such property uses, as well as creating a consistent definition that all Councils could work with.