Tourist and Visitor Accommodation

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

Council categorizes an Airbnb-type stay as a form of short term holiday letting and formally defines it under North Sydney LEP as tourist and visitor accommodation.

Short-term holiday letting 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 DA 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 our Planning and Development Advisor:

  1. Phone: 9936 8100

  2. Email: *Please include your name and contact telephone number(s) on any email.


NSW Govt Review of Short Term Holiday Letting

Following an initial Parliamentary Inquiry in 2016, and subsequent release of a discussion and options paper (late 2017), in October 2018 the Department of Planning and Environment exhibited draft amendments to planning legislation (Exempt and Complying Codes SEPP) for exhibition. The DPE are currently considering feedback received in response to the exhibition of the draft legislation.

If made, the effect of these amendments will introduce exempt and complying development pathways that enable Short Term Holiday Letting as:

  • Exempt Development for up to 365 days per year, when the host is present.

  • Exempt Development when not on bushfire prone land and when the host is not present, for no more than 180 days per year in Greater Sydney.

  • Complying development when on bushfire prone land and the host is not present for no more than 180 days per year in Greater Sydney.

  • Introduce minimum fire safety and evacuation requirements for premises used for Short Term Holiday letting.

More detail can be found at;

Other related initiatives were also announced in June 2018 including changes to Strata Legislation as well as the introduction of a mandatory Code of Conduct for Short term holiday letting.

Until such time as any draft amendments come into effect, Council's policy and regulation position with respect to this use remains unchanged.