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Government supports Airbnb-style rentals

21 April 2017

The NSW Government has given its support for short-term rentals, which will benefit online platforms sites like Airbnb.

In response to a Parliamentary report into the adequacy of regulation for short-term holiday letting, it gave “qualified support” to nine of the 12 recommendations, and full support to three.

It has not yet finalised the details of its proposed regulatory framework: it will be releasing a options paper “in the near future”.

The options paper will explore approaches to implement a whole of government framework and address the land use and planning issues, and strata management issues, including the amenity and safety of existing residents.

Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, Matt Kean said: "We need to find what will work best for the people of NSW, which is why we’re issuing an options paper for discussion with relevant stakeholders.

"We don’t want a holiday accommodation market that’s so over-regulated it puts people off coming here, but the rights of residents who live near these properties must be considered too.

"While short-term holiday letting, if properly managed and respected by all parties, can be a boost to the local economy, the need to protect people’s rights to the quiet enjoyment of their own homes is equally important."

Here is a breakdown of the report:

Qualified support for short-term letting

The NSW Government said it offers “qualified support” for short-term letting of:

  • rooms in any property where the landlord or host is present 
  • a principal place of residence
  • empty properties where it does not exceed “impact thresholds”.

Short-term letting regulations to align with traditional operators

Recommendation five of the Parliamentary report said the NSW Government should investigate the impact of the growth of short-term rentals in consultation with advocates for traditional accommodation operators, and identify opportunities to reform the regulations.

In response, the NSW Government said the principles regulating the traditional accommodation operators and short-term holiday letting should be aligned, fit for purpose and focused on consumer and community safety and amenity.

It said it will continue to work with stakeholders to identify opportunities for regulatory reform, and the issues will be investigated further.

Rental Code of Conduct

In response to recommendation six for the NSW Government to participate in managing the Holiday and Short-Term Rental Code of Conduct, the government gave its qualified support. 

However, it said that the industry is best placed to oversee and enforce the Code of Conduct. It further stated that it would support the implementation of the national code when and where possible.

It added it will work with the industry to determine their effectiveness to monitor and respond to complaints and compliance issues, and determine if a further regulatory response is required.

NSW Government to communicate changes 

The NSW Government gave its full support to the recommendation to prepare advice to councils and the community outlining the changes to short-term rental accommodation, and implement a communication and monitoring program.

It also agreed that local councils should be responsible for communicating with all landowners about their rights and obligations.

Strata powers and review

The NSW Government fully supported considering amendments to strata regulations to give owners corporations more powers to manage and respond to adverse behaviour from short-term letting in their strata buildings.

Recommendation 11 of the report called for a review of the impact of short-term letting in the strata environment after three years. However, the NSW Government said the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 will be reviewed in five years when it could assess the impact that current provisions have failed to resolve.

To read the full report, click here.