The NSW Government has implemented a statewide regulatory framework for short-term rental accommodation (STRA), which includes:
- a planning framework
- fire safety standards for STRA dwellings
- a government-run STRA Register.
The planning framework came into effect on 1 November 2021 and complements the mandatory Code of Conduct and changes to strata legislation made by the Department of Customer Service.
The statewide policy for STRA benefits homeowners who want to take advantage of holiday rentals while providing more certainty and safety for local communities and visitors.
The laws impose obligations on all industry participants, including booking platforms, hosts, letting agents and guests.
A balanced approach for homeowners and visitors
The STRA planning policy framework comprises standard provisions for short-term rental accommodation including:
- a definition for STRA, hosted STRA and non-hosted STRA
- an exempt development pathway for hosted and non-hosted STRA, including an annual 180-day limit for non-hosted STRA based on location
- an exemption of bookings of 21 consecutive days or more from the day limits for non-hosted STRA
- fire safety standards for dwellings used for STRA and associated penalty notice offences for non-compliance
- a government-run STRA Register that will ensure compliance with the new fire safety standards, as well as tracking day limits of each STRA dwelling and provide details to assist local councils with monitoring STRA in their local government areas (LGA).
Definitions and more information
Hosted short-term rental accommodation means short-term rental accommodation provided where the host resides on the premises during the provision of the accommodation.
Note: ‘Hosted’ may also apply when the owner is living on the property but not necessarily in the home being rented, for example homeowners who live on a property with a granny flat are able to rent out the granny flat 365 days of the year.
Non-hosted short-term rental accommodation means short-term rental accommodation provided where the host does not reside on the premises during the provision of the accommodation.
Note: Individual units in a premises where there is an onsite manager or concierge are generally considered as non-hosted.
All local councils in NSW have access to the STRA Register and have a role in enforcing the planning framework. Your local council can be contacted if you have an inquiry or compliance concern relating to:
- the STRA planning rules, including reporting an unregistered STRA premises
- the STRA Fire Safety Standard, such as missing smoke alarms or emergency evacuation information.
Ongoing neighbourhood noise complaints can also be referred to your local council or the police.
All STRA properties must register on the STRA Register. Register below to the government register on the Planning Portal. You will need to create a NSW Planning Portal account or log-in with your Service NSW account.
How do I register?
All hosts must first ensure the dwelling they propose to use for STRA complies with the fire and safety requirements and agree to follow the code of conduct.
The following links go to information in English.
- Read the short-term rental accommodation fire safety standard fact sheet (PDF, 153 KB)
- Read the code of conduct on the NSW Fair Trading website.
An annual STRA Registration period applies from the date a premises is registered on the STRA Register.
More information about how to register are on the Planning Portal.
How do I renew my registration?
A STRA Registration can be renewed on the Planning Portal 45 days before the renewal expiry date. Hosts will receive email reminders to renew their registration at 45 days, 30 days and 7 days prior to the renewal expiry date.
If a premises is not renewed by the expiry date, the registration is held for a further 3 months before it is automatically de-registered. During the three-month period, the registration is blocked from accepting bookings from online booking platforms. Once the property is de-registered it cannot be renewed and a new property registration must be completed.
Further information on renewing a STRA premises registration is available on the Planning Portal.
Who has access to the STRA Register?
The STRA Register contains personal information. Host or premises details are not available to the general public.
The information contained within the register may be provided to the Department of Customer Service and local government authorities who may use the information for statutory purposes, including to take action to address fire safety concerns of persons occupying a dwelling as short-term rental accommodation or to enforce the mandatory Code of Conduct.
What kinds of dwellings count as short-term rental accommodation?
All lawfully constructed dwellings that are permitted to be used as residential accommodation in all land-use zones can be used for short-term rental accommodation. Typical residential accommodation dwelling types include:
- a dwelling house (free-standing house), an attached dwelling, or a semi-detached dwelling
- a dual occupancy
- multi-dwelling housing
- a residential flat (such as a unit in a block of flats)
- a secondary dwelling (such as a granny flat)
- housing above shops.
If you are unsure of your dwelling type, contact your local council for assistance.
What kinds of dwellings cannot be used for STRA under the policy?
The following dwellings are not permitted for short-term rental accommodation under the rules:
- boarding houses
- seniors’ housing
- rural workers’ dwellings
- group homes
- refuge or crisis accommodation
- build-to-rent housing
- co-living housing
- moveable dwellings.
Conditions of a development consent or a strata-by law may also restrict STRA in some residential premises. Hosts are encouraged to contact their local council for development consent information or their Owners Corporations and NSW Fair Trading for further information on accessing strata-by laws.
Is tourist accommodation included?
Development approved tourist and visitor accommodation, such as serviced apartments, bed and breakfasts, eco-tourist facilities, hotels, motels, resorts, camping grounds or caravan parks are not required to register for STRA. They are allowed to continue to be listed on online accommodation platforms. If you are unsure of the status of the accommodation, contact your local Council for assistance.
More information about the new rules for STRA, including frequently asked questions are available on the Planning Portal.
Fire safety standards for STRA
Dwellings proposed to be used for STRA are required to comply with the fire safety standards.
The fire safety standards are enacted by the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Development Certification and Fire Safety) Regulation 2021 which:
- provide minimum fire safety standards for STRA dwellings and associated penalty notice offences for non-compliance;
- require all STRA dwellings to comply with the relevant fire safety standards, including the requirement for all STRA dwellings to an evacuation plan and interconnected smoke alarms; and
- require all STRA dwellings to be registered on the Government-run STRA Register to confirm compliance with the new fire safety standards.
Learn more about the Fire Safety Standard (PDF, 153 KB).
Short-term rental accommodation in certain areas in NSW
In some NSW council areas, there are limits on the number of days that a property can be used for non-hosted STRA.
Non-hosted STRA is restricted to a maximum of 180 days a year in the following areas:
- Greater Sydney region (not including the Central Coast, see below)
- Ballina area
- Byron area
- certain land in the Clarence Valley area, and
- certain land in the Muswellbrook area.
The 180-day period is counted within a registration annual period , 12 months from the initial registration date on the NSW STRA Register.
The relevant maps for land in Muswellbrook and Clarence Valley are available on the Planning Portal.
As part of the planning for STRA the Department asked all regional councils if they would like to take up the 180-day non-hosted STRA policy option. Further requests to amend a non-hosted day limit will be considered as part of a future policy review.
If a non-hosted STRA in these areas exceeds the 180-day limit, STRA is no longer permitted under the state policy as exempt development.
Local councils can monitor the STRA Register to establish when non-hosted premises exceed the annual day limit.
If a STRA is operating as unauthorised development, a local council can begin a compliance investigation which may result in penalties or enforcement action under planning laws.
The STRA provisions apply in the Byron Shire LGA, including a maximum of 180 days per 365-day period for non-hosted STRA.
On 3 June 2022, the Minister for Planning and Homes authorised Byron Shire Council to proceed with the public exhibition and finalisation of a planning proposal which proposes to limit non-hosted STRA to 90 days a year in parts of the LGA.
Code of Conduct
The mandatory Code of Conduct for the Short-term Rental Accommodation Industry (Code) started on 18 December 2020.
It is administered by the Commissioner for Fair Trading in the NSW Department of Customer Service.
The Code sets out the legal responsibilities and creates new minimum standards of behaviour and requirements for all industry participants, including:
- booking platforms
- letting agents and facilitators.
For information about the code, visit the NSW Fair Trading website.
The Code also establishes the STRA Exclusion Register which commenced in August 2022.
The Exclusion Register is a list of guests and hosts who have been excluded from participating in the short-rental accommodation industry.
For more information about the Exclusion Register, visit the NSW Fair Trading website.
Information for online booking platforms
The department invites all online STRA booking platforms to consider integration options with the STRA Register. Integration with the STRA Register has the following benefits:
- Verification that advertised premises have a current STRA registration.
- Automatic transfer of booking information to the register to make it easier for hosts to manage compliance responsibilities.
For more information, please contact the Housing Policy team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Policy development timeline
The Government has investigated policy options in response to the growth of STRA in NSW.
A Parliamentary Inquiry into the Adequacy of the Regulation of Short-term Holiday Letting in New South Wales in 2015-16
Community feedback was sought on an Options Paper between 21 July and 21 October in 2017. Submissions made in response to the Options Paper can be viewed at the department's Planning Portal website.
On 5 June 2018
The NSW Government announced a new regulatory framework for STRA in NSW, including a statewide planning framework, changes to strata legislation and a mandatory Code of Conduct.
14 August 2018
The NSW Parliament passed the Fair Trading Amendment (Short-term Rental Accommodation) Act 2018 (the Act), which allows for:
5 October 2018
The department exhibited an Explanation of Intended Effect which outlined proposed amendments to planning rules to introduce the STRA planning framework.
The proposed amendments to planning rules included:
The department has published all submissions received on the Planning Portal.
The department consulted on a proposed regulatory framework for STRA, including draft instruments and regulations, a draft Code of Conduct, proposed strata legislation amendments, and the scope of a property registration system. Over 2,000 submissions were received by the department during this exhibition period.
There was general support for a statewide regulatory framework, however views differed as to the extent of regulation, detailed controls and how regulation should work.
Shortly after this, the STRA sector has suffered a significant blow as a result of the 2019/2020 summer bushfires and subsequent COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to feedback received during stakeholder consultation and the Covid-19 pandemic, the new policy framework achieves a balanced outcome to ensure businesses and homeowners get back on their feet as restrictions continue to ease by providing clarity, consistency and certainty ahead of summer.
10 April 2020
Amendments were made to the Fair-Trading Act 1987, Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 and the Residential Tenancies Act 2010.
These changes allow owners corporations to be able to pass by-laws that prohibit short-term rental accommodation within strata schemes, but only in lots that are not a host’s principle place of residence.
Short-term rental accommodation arrangements of three (3) months or less will not be regulated under the residential tenancies laws.
27 October 2020
|The Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation announced amendments to the Fair Trading Regulation 2019 declaring the new mandatory Code of Conduct for the Short-term Rental Accommodation Industry.|
18 December 2020
New mandatory Code of Conduct commenced and imposes obligations on booking platforms, hosts, letting agents and guests.
9 April 2021
The STRA policy and Register was announced and available for Hosts for review.
1 November 2021
The STRA planning policy commenced. All hosts wishing to participate in STRA must register their dwellings via the register and ensure compliance with the new Fire Safety Standards by 1 March 2022.
31 January 2022
The statewide STRA planning policy commenced in the Byron Shire LGA.
- For STRA Policy questions, please contact the Housing Policy team at email@example.com.
- Call ServiceNSW on 1300 305 695.
- For more information and technical assistance on the STRA register visit the Planning Portal or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For more information on the Code of Conduct, strata by-laws for STRA, and the Exclusion Register visit NSW Fair Trading.
- Watch the new STRA policy webinar for councils.
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Page last updated: 19/09/2022