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:: Holiday and short-term rentals
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As the summer break when thousands will head to their holiday rentals approaches, agents who manage short-term tenancies are delighted with news that REINSW is establishing a Holiday Rental Chapter.

The possibility that owners of holiday homes may be prevented from letting out their properties on short term leases – unless they have acquired development consent – has been a worry to the 250 or so real estate agents who manage short term rents.

Now, with the formation of a Holiday Rental Chapter, the Institute has been proactive ahead of any change because a formalised Chapter, with its protocols and standards, will be a legitimate voice should any legislation be proposed that affects this sector. There have already been indications of this, such as a move by the Shire Council in Byron Bay earlier this year to try and restrict private short-term holiday lets.

Currently, there are around 180,000 holiday homes in NSW. Over the years, many have been let out for short periods at peak times when they are not being used by the owner. In many popular locations, private short term leases are a necessary complement to holiday accommodation businesses such as hotels, motels and caravan parks. Private lets are also substantial contributors to the many small communities that rely on the seasonal tourist dollar for survival.

One of the first tasks for the Holiday Rental Chapter will be to develop best practice code for holiday leasing that will standardise both the obligations of agents and of short-term tenants.

Justin Butterworth of, among those who worked hard behind the scenes to get the Chapter up and running, will be its first Chairman, while committee members currently comprise Dirk Hertford of Park Beachside Real Estate, Coogee; Brian Hastie of Narooma Real Estate; David Preston of Kingscliff Sales and Rentals and Rick Wraight of Tea Gardens Real Estate.

“It will be great to see broader recognition of holiday rental’s proud heritage,” said Dirk. “Holiday rentals have been a key to many family holidays in NSW since the mid-nineteenth century.

“Working in a beach area, I know holiday rentals allow many people to enjoy the beach who otherwise wouldn’t get the opportunity.

“It’s great to see the REI taking the initiative and forming the Holiday Rental Chapter.”

Rick Wraight said the new Chapter gives real estate agents who manage short term and holiday rentals the type of representation at industry level that they have never before enjoyed.

“Working together as a group will give agents the opportunity to understand and identify the challenges facing property owners in relation to new planning laws and the existing challenge of mixed holiday letting.”

The Holiday Rental Chapter is keen to hear from REINSW members who would like to join, particularly those in areas with a mixture of holiday letting such as Manly, Byron Bay, the Blue Mountains and Shoalhaven.

For more information, contact Tracey Lucas on (02) 8267 0507.