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A short term stay on the beachfront

29 October 2020

New rules for short term accommodation welcomed

This week’s new rules for short term rental accommodation providers such as Airbnb operators and their guests are a good start, but NSW’s peak body for local government is pushing for further crucial changes such as a compulsory premises register to keep guests and operators accountable.

The new NSW Fair Trading Code of Conduct for the Short-term Rental Accommodation Industry imposes new obligations for people booking short term rental accommodation, including behavioural standards.

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Linda Scott said while short term rentals made it easier and more affordable for people to get away for a holiday, they occasionally created problems such as unreasonable levels of disturbance and housing affordability tensions.

“LGNSW is pleased the NSW Government has listened to councils and introduced new rules, but we are keen to see further important improvements in the near future,” Cr Scott said.

“Top of the list is a premises register of short-term rental accommodation properties to help keep operators and guests honest and accountable.

“A premises register would enable tracking of short-term rentals usage so the number of days per year can be counted, which in turn will help councils bring balance between reasonable holiday letting and what’s good for the community in each place in NSW.”

The new Code of Conduct, which come into effect on December 18, imposes a range of obligations on booking platforms, hosts and letting agents, such as:

  • Guests must not make noise that unreasonably disrupts neighbours;
  • Guests must not damage the premises, including common properties in strata schemes;
  • Hosts and letting agents are responsible for the actions of their visitors and must ensure they comply with behaviour standards set out in the code.

Cr Scott said LGNSW and councils had been calling for the NSW Government to bring in stronger rules for for more than five years.

“Overall, short term accommodation services bring a boost to local businesses, especially in our regions, and councils welcome the injection it brings to their communities as part of efforts to drive a locally-led economic recovery,” she said.

“While the overwhelming majority of operators and guests do the right thing, these new rules provide regulations to ensure short term accommodation providers and users don’t negatively impact on neighbouring residents.

 “The new rules are more than reasonable and are not designed to punish good operators or guests but ensure standards that will bring improvements for everyone.

“The next step is the premises register, which the Government has promised for July next year, but we will continue pushing for as soon as possible.”

For more information on the new rules, see the NSW Fair Trading website. The full code of conduct can be seen here.

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