State government seeking feedback on regulation of short-term accommodation industry

The state government wants to hear from apartment residents in Port Macquarie about the best way to manage party houses, amenity loss and safety concerns caused by short-stay operators.

The NSW Government’s Short-Term Holiday Letting Options Paper details a range of potential rules to regulate short-stay operators, including giving apartment owners the right to decide on if they’re allowed in their blocks.

Our Strata Community, Our Choice spokesperson, Stephen Goddard, said it was now time for all apartment residents to make their voices heard on the matter.

“Owners Corporations want a say on short-terms stays and if it is allowed in residential buildings, and this options paper makes provision for that,” Mr Goddard said.

“The only way that the rule could come into force though is for the people in Port Macquarie who agree to make their voice heard, and now is the time.”

The paper also outlines options including asking hosts to obtain a licence and pay extra fees to cover the costs of increased maintenance and security measures.

“This isn’t about banning the short-stay industry, it’s about sensible regulation to address the concerns of apartment owners, and some of these suggestions are very sensible,” Mr Goddard said.

“If apartment owners pay for damage and increased maintenance, then they deserve a say in whether short-term letting takes place in their building.

“And if people profit from putting apartments on a short-term stay platform, then there should at least be a mechanism where they contribute towards the extra wear and tear that causes.

“Apartment residents across the state have joined the Our Strata Community, Our Choice campaign to voice their concerns about the impact of multi-national companies like Airbnb.

“They are concerned about amenity and individual safety, strata costs, and housing and residential affordability.”

Stayz released a comprehensive response outlining actions the government must now undertake to protect tourism and local jobs in regional NSW.

The submission by Stayz, a predominantly regional holiday rental platform which is responsible for over 17,300 holiday or short-term lettings in NSW, includes the following measures:

1.      Recognition of the economic importance of tourism in regional NSW – regional areas must be exempt from regulations intended to address amenity issues in strata properties in metropolitan Sydney. Burdensome regulation targeted at secondary residences will hurt regional areas where short-term rental accommodation has been a key driver of tourism, economic growth and local jobs for decades.

2.    Compulsory registration of all short-term rental accommodation – the creation of a simple registration process for all short-term rental properties in NSW will provide governments with the data necessary to better support tourism economies with infrastructure and municipal services.

3.    Measures to improve industry conduct – a tough, new short-term rental code of conduct that includes:

  • A “three strikes” rule to remove bad hosts from online short-term rental platforms.
  • Appropriate safety, amenity and property management standards for listing a rental property on an online platform.
  • A new industry-funded body to process and adjudicate questions about amenity, noise and overcrowding.
  • Improved communication channels between local governments and the new industry-funded adjudication body.

Residents have until October 31 to have their say on the Options Paper. You can do so by visiting http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/sthl