Owners able to rent out apartments while investors face restrictions
Under the new regulations, some apartment owners in New South Wales could be banned from renting out their properties on Airbnb, with strata owners corporations to be given the power to pass by-laws that prevent short-term letting in their block if the host does not live in the unit they are letting out.
Better Regulations Minister Matt Kean said the package was “the right balance”, despite previously trying to push through changes that did not allow strata owners corporations to prevent the use of Airbnb in their buildings.
“There is genuinely a diversity of opinion across both the partyroom and the community … but I’m confident this package has got the balance right,” he said.
Under the changes announced on Tuesday, hosts based in the greater Sydney area will also only be allowed to rent out their homes for up to 180 nights a year. There will be no automatic cap in regional areas, but councils can choose to impose their own limits.
A mandatory code of conduct will be developed for online accommodation platforms to address issues like noise levels and disruptive guests. Guests and hosts who commit two serious breaches of the code of conduct within two years will be banned from all short-term holiday platforms for five years.
However, Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) says the changes only go part of the way.
“While the accommodation industry recognises the settings are a step in the right direction, and do provide strata controls, we believe the key to getting the settings more balanced is ensuring the mandatory Code of Conduct is properly enforced,” said TAA CEO Carol Giuseppi.
“We believe the key to actual implementation will be ensuring the Code is developed with stronger controls – beyond that of regulating bad behaviour. To protect both visitors and communities the proper insurances, fire and safety protections and security need to be put in place.”
Giuseppi said effective and transparent monitoring also needs to be established.
“A mooted 12 month review is not possible without appropriate monitoring,” she said. “Cities around the world have recognised the only way to properly regulate is to put in place a registration scheme to monitor and report on changes in community and the impacts.
“The regulated commercial accommodation sector looks forward to working with government to ensure a review of the significant regulations currently in place to ensure sustainable growth that protects and grows jobs and investment.
“We also call on government to provide the necessary incentives to boost investment in new hotels, motels and serviced apartments across NSW.”
The Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) has also called for an effective and transparent monitoring process.
“TTF will look to work with the Government and new and traditional accommodation providers to see that there is stringent oversight during this time,” TTF CEO Margy Osmond said.