New short term rental laws in NSW include guest and host bans

The NSW Government says unruly guests and bad hosts will be banned from the short term rental (STR) industry for five years under a new mandatory Code of Conduct it announced yesterday.

It’s part of a legislative initiative which also requires that all STR properties are registered with Fair Trading NSW by June 1, 2021.

The Code of Conduct, which applies from December 18, says that property managers and booking platforms such as Airbnb, Stayz and cannot market STR properties that are not on the registered properties register.

If they do, penalties apply, which is also the case for STR hosts who flout the new regulations.

Meanwhile the government flagged changes to strata laws that would allow owner corporations of apartment blocks to prohibit “non-resident” owners from offering their property as a short term rental.

Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson said the new statewide STR planning framework will also include formal avenues for complaints and dispute resolution.

“The popularity of short-term rentals has exploded in recent years and is now a $30 billion a year industry,” said Anderson.

“While the sector has gone from strength to strength, what has been missing is a clear set of rules to protect the rights of both hosts, guests and neighbours and which put mutual respect front and centre.  
“The NSW Government is introducing these laws as part of our broad reform of the sector. Together, they will ensure the minority of participants who are giving the sector a bad name are removed and the short-term rental sector is improved for hosts, guests and communities.” 
Mr Anderson said a key feature of the new laws is the establishment of an exclusion register, which will introduce a ‘two strikes and you’re out’ policy for unruly guests. 
“We have all heard the horror stories of hosts doing the wrong thing or the house guests from hell behaving disgracefully in holiday rentals,” Mr Anderson said. 
“If you are going to carry on like that in someone else’s house or neighbourhood, be warned – under these new rules you will be banned, and for a very long time. The standards are enforceable, with powers available to NSW Fair Trading Commissioner to take disciplinary action, including penalties and exclusion from the industry for repeat offenders.” 

All participants, including booking platforms, will be required to comply with the Code and with directions and requests from the Commissioner for Fair Trading NSW.

Anderson said the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is developing a government-run premises register and state environmental planning policy for short-term rental accommodation which will round out the reforms to this sector and launch in 2021. 

See: Code of Conduct for the Short Term Rental Industry.

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