The New South Wales Government has introduced a statewide regulatory framework for short-term rental accommodation, titled State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) Amendment (Short-Term Rental Accommodation) 2021 (STRA).
The framework regulates and validates short-term rental accommodation across New South Wales. Subject to meeting eligibility and compliance criteria, hosted and non-hosted STRAs will be classified as ‘exempt development’.
Short-term rental accommodation typically means a dwelling offered for short-term or temporary accommodation by a host on a commercial basis. Online platforms such as Airbnb and Stayz are often utilised by participants to facilitate the booking process.
The STRA framework is designed to benefit homeowners who want to use their properties as an Airbnb and at the same time, provide more certainty and safety for local communities and visitors. It complements the existing Code of Conduct that applies to STRA industry participants.
Hosts, guests, letting agents and booking platforms should all be aware of the new framework and their obligations under the Code of Conduct.
Hosts of short-term rental accommodation must register with the New South Wales Government run industry register.
Depending on whether the STRA is hosted or non-hosted, and its location, short term stays are subject to booking caps. A 180-day booking cap for non-hosted STRAs located in certain areas applies (with bookings of 21 or more consecutive days exempt from the day limits). Day limits do not apply to hosted STRAs.
The booking cap restrictions imposed by the STRA apply to non-hosted accommodation in the following areas in New South Wales:
- Greater Sydney metro region
- Ballina area and Bega Valley area
- City of Newcastle area
- Dubbo Regional area
- particular land in the Clarence Valley and Muswellbrook area
Hosts must also comply with minimum fire safety standards.
What type of dwellings count as STRA?
Any property that has been lawfully constructed and permitted to be used as residential accommodation in all land-use zones may be used as an Airbnb. This generally includes:
- a free-standing house, attached dwelling, or semi-detached dwelling
- a dual occupancy and multi-dwelling housing
- a residential unit in a block of flats
- a secondary house (i.e., granny flat)
- residential housing above shops
What type of requirements do I have to meet under the STRA?
If you use your property as an Airbnb, you must register the property on the STRA Register. You can do this on the NSW Planning Portal website by creating a NSW Planning Portal account or logging in with your Service NSW account.
Once you have registered your property, you will be provided with a STRA Property ID number which must be displayed on any online property listing.
All hosts or letting agents of Airbnbs must comply with new fire and safety requirements and agree to follow the code of conduct.
The fire and safety requirements can be found in the Short-term Rental Accommodation Fire Safety Standard fact sheet on the NSW Planning Portal website.
A 5-year short term rental ban applies to Airbnb guests and hosts if they repeatedly disrupt their neighbours. ‘Disruptive behaviour’ includes any behaviour interfering with ‘a neighbour’s quiet and peaceful enjoyment of their home’.
If it is important to read and understand your obligations under the code of conduct, which is published on the New South Wales Fair Trading website.
If you are unsure as to whether you have complied with all legal requirements, we recommend you seek legal advice. The last thing you want is a 5-year ban from hosting your property as an Airbnb!
The STRA legislation was introduced to provide consistency and clarity regarding short-term rental accommodation across New South Wales. It limits the number of days in which hosts can rent out their short-term rental property, in some instances, and mandates registration on the STRA register if you use your property as an Airbnb.
All hosts or letting agents of Airbnbs must comply with new fire and safety requirements and agree to follow the code of conduct. Airbnb guests and hosts who repeatedly disrupt their ‘neighbour’s quiet and peaceful enjoyment of their home’ can face up to a 5-year ban from hosting their property as an Airbnb.
If you are considering, or already renting a property out for short-term accommodation it is important to understand your compliance obligations and identify the necessary insurances and permits required.
This information is for general purposes, and we recommend obtaining professional advice relevant to your circumstances.
If you or someone you know wants more information or needs legal help or advice, please contact us on 02 9790 7000 or email [email protected].