The NSW Liberal National Government’s short-term holiday letting plan will embrace the sharing economy and give consumers more choice while cracking down on bad behaviour, Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC said today.
Mr MacDonald said the reforms recognised the estimated $31 billion annual contribution of online booking platforms like Airbnb and HomeAway (formerly Stayz) to the Australian economy, while stamping out party houses through a mandatory Code of Conduct.
“The Government has consulted widely with industry and the community to make sure our nation-leading regulatory framework is the very best approach to short-term holiday letting,” Mr MacDonald said.
The plan also includes changes to the Strata Schemes Management Act, which will allow owners corporations to adopt a by-law, with a 75 per cent majority, preventing short-term letting in their block if the host does not live in the unit they are letting out.
The mandatory Code of Conduct for online accommodation platforms, letting agents, hosts and guests would address impacts like noise levels, disruptive guests and effects on shared neighbourhood amenities. The Code will also include a new dispute resolution process to resolve complaints, and NSW Fair Trading will have powers to police online platforms and letting agents.
“Under the ‘two strikes and you’re out’ policy, hosts or guests who commit two serious breaches of the Code within two years will be banned for five, and be listed on an exclusion register.”
“These are the toughest laws in the country and will make sure Hunter residents are protected while ensuring that hosts who do the right thing are not penalised.”
Mr MacDonald said new state-wide planning rules would come into force for all Hunter LGAs, including:
- Allowing short-term holiday letting as exempt development 365 days per year when the host is present;
- Allowing hosts to rent out properties via short-term holiday letting 365 days per year when the host is not present;
- Councils having the power to decrease the 365 day threshold to no lower than 180 days per year; and,
- Certain planning rules applying to bushfire prone land.
“The 180 days a year equates to weekends, school holidays and public holidays so we felt this was a fair and balanced approach,” Mr MacDonald said
For more information on short-term holiday letting visit www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au