RMB Articles

Have your Say on Regulation for Short Term Letting

Posted 25-10-2018
Written by admin 101
Category Town Planning

The NSW Government is preparing to regulate the short term letting industry, but you can have your say. RMB Property and Planning division explains:

In July this year, the NSW Government released an Options Paper to formulate ideas for the regulation and management of short term holiday rentals in NSW following a Parliamentary Inquiry into the industry.

Although there is no formally adopted definition of short term holiday letting under the planning system, it generally refers to the renting of the whole or part of a private home to a visitor on a commercial basis with or without the host being present.

Short term holiday letting has been carried out in coastal and other tourist destinations for many years, largely without approval or regulation, but the industry has recently experienced rapid growth however due to online booking platforms and operators such as Airbnb and Stayz.

The Options Paper is hoped to lead to the preparation of a regulatory framework to govern this ever-expanding industry and its impact on communities.

The new planning laws will aim to govern some of the unintended negative consequences, such as the conduct of guests (including noise, waste, fire safety and security concerns), impacts on amenity and on long term rental affordability and availability at peak times, as well as the lack of power of strata corporations to prevent the use of short-term rentals in their buildings.

The Options Paper sets out a number of options for the regulation of the industry, including greater industry self-regulation, registration or licensing of short term holiday letting operators, changes to strata laws and regulation through the planning system.

Short term holiday letting is currently unregulated in NSW. Permissibility is controlled by local councils and is dependent upon the planning controls applying to short term holiday letting in the local government area in which the property is located. This is for the most part discretionary although councils have the ability to certify controls around land use for short term holiday letting through their local environmental plans (LEP).

The Government’s initiative is not without criticism.  Concerns have been raised about how adopted policies will be imposed and monitored, how consequences will be enforced and whether having to comply with unnecessary red tape will affect the economic viability of the activity.

The Options Paper on Short term Holiday Letting in NSW is on exhibition until 31 October. Write to the Department of Planning and Environment to have your say on the ideas raised in the paper. 

Are you currently short term letting or looking to get involved in the the industry? You can contact us. We'll be able to help you via a quick phone call, or ask us a question via email.