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Options Paper on short-term holiday letting

The NSW Government invited feedback on the Options Paper for short–term holiday letting in NSW (PDF, 4.40 MB) up until 31 October 2017. Feedback is now under consideration.


The submissions made in response to the Options Paper are available on the Department of Planning and Environment’s Draft Plans and Policies website.


Read the Options Paper

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Short–term holiday letting (STHL) relates to the renting of the whole or part of a private home by its owner to a visitor on a commercial basis.


Given the recent growth in STHL, the government is looking at the economic contribution of the industry while managing any potential social and environmental impacts.

There are a number of options outlined in the Options Paper including greater industry self–regulation, registration or licensing of STHL operators, changes to strata laws and regulation through the planning system.

These options may be considered individually or in combination.

It is important for us to understand the range of community views on STHL prior to making a recommendation on the future approach.

Frequently Asked Questions

Short–term holiday letting (STHL) has been carried out in coastal and other tourist destinations in NSW for many years, often without planning approval or incident. Internet platforms have generated new marketplaces for STHL, benefitting consumers and providers by lowering transaction and accommodation costs; providing opportunities to earn income from unused assets; and broadening the economic benefits of tourism.


STHL can be considered as the renting of the whole or part of a private dwelling by an owner to a visitor on a commercial basis, whether the owner is present or not. There is currently no consistent definition of STHL under the NSW planning system.

STHL can provide significant economic benefits to local, state and national economies. The popularity of online booking services and the growth of the shared economy has seen STHL expand in Australia and overseas. Per the Parliamentary Inquiry Report, a study by BIS Shrapnel estimates STHL contributes $31.3 billion to the national economy including upwards of 238,000 jobs.1 Given the size of the economy of NSW, a significant portion of this activity takes place in NSW. NSW (including ACT) represents approximately 35% of holiday rental premises nationally.2


The rapid growth of the industry has led to the need to consider whether improved regulation of STHL is required to enable the activity to continue to take place without unduly impacting on local communities, the safety of visitors or introducing unnecessary red tape.


1 Parliamentary Inquiry Report, October 2016, p42.
2 Parliamentary Inquiry Report, October 2016, p23.

STHL is currently regulated in some local government areas through the planning system. Councils can generally determine the land use planning controls for STHL through their Local Environmental Plans (LEP), few LEPs in NSW refer specifically to STHL.


The LEPs that do address STHL use different definitions and thresholds for when STHL requires development consent. These LEPs either:

  • allow the use without the need for any approval,
  • define STHL as tourist and visitor accommodation within residential accommodation and set a maximum number of consecutive days that STHL can occur,
  • define a maximum number of bedrooms allowed as STHL, and
  • define thresholds for days and bedrooms beyond which a more detailed level of approval from a council is required.

In 2016, the NSW Legislative Assembly Committee on Environment and Planning conducted an inquiry into the adequacy of the regulation of STHL in New South Wales. Three public hearings were held between March and May 2016 and 212 public submissions were received. The Committee’s final report was published on 19 October 2016 and made 12 recommendations. The full report an be found at the Parliament of NSW's website.


The key recommendations were that the NSW Government:

  • amend planning laws to regulate short-term rental accommodation;
  • allow home sharing, and letting a principal place of residence, as exempt development;
  • allow empty houses to be let as exempt and complying development;
  • strengthen owners’ corporations’ powers to manage and respond to issues in strata properties; and
  • commit to further investigating impacts from STHL on traditional accommodation operators.

On 19 April 2017, the NSW Government responded to the Parliamentary Committee Report indicating general support for the recommendations. As part of the response it was agreed that an Options Paper would be prepared to develop an appropriate way for government to respond to STHL.

The Parliamentary Committee Report should be read as a companion document to the Options Paper.

Consultation will take place for three months to provide industry and the community sufficient time to provide meaningful input.

We thank everyone who has taken to the time to make a submission. All feedback is now being considered. In determining what the policy framework might look like there were a range of stakeholders that wished to hear from including local councils, homeowners, tenants and holidaymakers, affected neighbours, strata corporations, STHL businesses, traditional accommodation operators and other downstream businesses.

Engagement is now closed and we are considering the feedback we received.

Yes. The policy options for STHL could include regulatory or non-regulatory approaches, or a combination of both. A combination of options can be chosen to suggest a policy framework for the STHL in the submission form. Other options not covered in the paper can also be provided.

Engagement has now closed. Submissions were open until 31 October 2017.

Your personal information is protected under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (PPIP Act). The Department collects personal information in submissions for the purposes set out in the Department's Privacy Statement.


We respect your right to privacy. Before lodging your submission, you will be asked to confirm that you have read the terms of the Privacy Statement, which sets out:

  • how personal information is defined under the PPIP Act - it includes but is not limited to your name, address and email address,
  • the purposes for which the department collects personal information, and
  • how personal information collected by the department will be used.

When you make a submission, we will publish:

  • the content of your submission – including any personal information about you which you have chosen to include in those documents,
  • a list of submitter's, which will include:
    • your name
    • your suburb or town.

We will not publish offensive, threatening, defamatory or other inappropriate material. If you do not want your personal information published, do not include any personal information in your submission.


All other information gathered in this submission form will be collated and used towards making a recommendation on the future approach of STHL in NSW.

If you have further inquiries, please email us at

Engagement has now closed. We are considering feedback.


If you have further inquiries, please email us at

Where can I find out more?

  • Call us on 1300 305 695.
  • If English is not your first language, please call 131 450 and ask for an interpreter in your language and then request to be connected to the Department of Planning and Environment on 1300 305 695.

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Page last updated: 24/04/2018