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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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The NSW Government has implemented a new statewide regulatory framework for short-term rental accommodation (STRA), which includes

  • a new planning framework
  • fire safety standards for STRA dwellings; and
  • a new government-run STRA Register.

 

The new planning framework compliments the mandatory Code of Conduct and changes to strata legislation made by the Department of Customer Service.

 

The new laws impose new obligations on booking platforms, hosts, letting agents and guests.

 

The new state-wide policy for STRA benefits homeowners who want to take advantage of holiday rentals while providing more certainty and safety for local communities and visitors.

A balanced approach for homeowners and visitors

The new policy has been introduced via amendments to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 (ARHSEPP) and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation (EP&A Regulation) and comprises of:

  • a new definition for STRA, hosted STRA and non-hosted STRA;
  • an exempt development pathway for hosted and non-hosted STRA, including a 180 day limit restriction 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;
  • new fire safety standards for dwellings used for STRA and associated penalty notice offences for non-compliance; and
  • a new Government-run online STRA register.

 

The new STRA policy commenced for most of the State on 1 November 2021. The STRA policy commences in Byron Shire LGA on 31 January 2022.

 

STRA Compliance

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
  • Hosts
  • Guests
  • Letting agents and facilitators.

 

For information about the new code, visit the NSW Fair Trading website.

 

STRA Register

The STRA register is now available for hosts to register their STRA property. Click the button below to be taken 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.

 

Register now

How do I register?

All hosts or letting agents must comply with the new fire and safety requirements and agree to follow the code of conduct.

 

The following links go to information in English.

 

  1. Read the Short-term Rental Accommodation Fire Safety Standard fact sheet (PDF, 156KB)
  2. Read the code of conduct on the NSW Fair Trading website.

 

More information about how to register and exemptions are on the Planning Portal.

A new planning framework for STRA

The new STRA planning policy framework comprises new standard provisions and introduces:

  • a new definition for STRA, hosted STRA and non-hosted STRA;
  • an exempt development pathway for:
    • hosted STRA in a dwelling, 365 days per year;
    • non-hosted STRA in a dwelling, 180 days per year in Greater Sydney and nominated regional NSW LGAs and 365 days per year in all other locations; and
  • an exemption of bookings of 21 consecutive days or more from day limits for non-hosted STRA.

The STRA policy is supported by:

  • amendments to the EP&A Regulation to introduce minimum fire safety standards for dwellings used for STRA and associated penalty notice offences for non-compliance; and
  • the implementation of a new 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’ means the owner needs to be 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.

 

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. 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.

 

What kinds of dwellings are not permitted?

The following dwellings are not considered short-term rental accommodation under the new rules:

  • boarding houses
  • seniors’ housing
  • rural workers’ dwellings
  • group homes
  • hostels
  • refuge or crisis accommodation
  • build-to-rent housing
  • co-living housing
  • moveable dwellings: caravans, tents or glamping accommodation.

 

More information about the new rules for STRA are available on the Planning Portal.

 

Fire safety standards for STRA

 

Dwellings proposed to be used for STRA are required to comply with the new fire safety standards.

 

The fire safety standards are enacted by the EP&A Regulation which:

  • introduce 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.

 

A factsheet on fire safety standards is available on the planning portal (PDF, 154KB)

 

Fire safety requirements grace period

We are aware that due to COVID-19 stay at home orders, some hosts have been unable to travel to their properties or secure tradespeople to ensure they are compliant with the fire safety standards.

 

As a temporary measure in response to the stay at home orders, we will allow a ‘grace period’ for this requirement. We will update the STRA register on 24 September to allow hosts to register but delay the fire and safety requirement until 1 March. This means hosts have an extra four months to ensure their dwelling complies with the fire safety standards.

 

You must still register your property before 1 November to take bookings for summer.

 

Short-term rental accommodation in certain areas in NSW

Byron Shire

The Government acknowledges that STRA is a complex issue in the Byron Shire Local Government Area, and therefore the new state-wide STRA policy will not apply in the Byron Shire LGA until 31 January 2022. After this date, the STRA provisions will apply, including a maximum of 180 days per year for non-hosted STRA.

 

STRA register now open for Byron properties

If you own or are a letting agent for a short-term rental property in the Byron Shire LGA you can now register your property. Register your property now on the planning portal.

 

Muswellbrook and Clarence Valley

Non-hosted STRA can occur for up to 180 days within certain land of the Muswellbrook and Clarence Valley local government areas. To ensure clarity of location, maps for these locations are available on our Planning Portal.

 

 

The Government has investigated policy options in response to the growth of STRA in NSW.

March 2016: a Parliamentary Inquiry into the Adequacy of the Regulation of Short-term Holiday Letting in New South Wales in 2015-16.

July – October 2017: 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 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:

  • the introduction of a Code of Conduct
  • changes to the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 so strata schemes may adopt by-laws prohibiting STRA where the lot is not the host’s principal place of residence.

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:

  • A single definition of STRA
  • Exempt development pathway that enable STRA within day thresholds, depending on host presence
  • Minimum fire safety and evacuation requirements for premises used for STRA.

The department has published all submissions received on our Planning Portal website.

August – September 2019: 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 2000 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. The register will come into effect from 30 July 2021 simultaneously with the planning legislation.

1 November 2021: The STRA planning policy will commence. All hosts wishing to participate in STRA must register their dwellings vie the register and ensure compliance with the new Fire Safety Standards. 

More information

 

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Page last updated: 07/12/2021