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

 

The new regulatory framework seeks to ensure local communities continue to enjoy the economic benefits of STRA, while managing potential adverse impacts.

 

A balanced approach for homeowners and visitors

Amendments have been made to State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 (ARHSEPP) and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation (EP&A Regulation) to introduce a new policy framework for STRA that will allow homeowners to access the benefits of the sharing economy while providing certainty and safety for communities and visitors.

 

The new STRA policy includes a deferred commencement clause, meaning the new planning rules won’t take effect until 1 November 2021. This will ensure STRA hosts, councils and industry participants have sufficient time to familiarise themselves with the new rules before the policy takes effect on 1 November 2021.

 

Until the NSW Government’s new statewide STRA planning policy takes effect, the regulation of STRA in NSW will continue to be the responsibility of local councils. The STRA Code of Conduct and exclusion register took effect on 18 December 2020.

 

A new STRA planning framework

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.
  • 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.

 

For further information about the New rules for STRA, please read:

 

Short-term rental accommodation fire safety standards

The STRA planning policy framework includes the new Short-term Rental Accommodation fire safety standards (fire safety standards). The fire safety standards have been revised in response feedback received on the exhibited standards and are considered to strike an appropriate and reasonable balance between the need for higher safety requirements and cost prohibitive safety requirements.


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.

 

View the Short-term Rental Accommodation Fire Safety Standard (PDF, 154 KB).

 

STRA hosts and guests are also encouraged to download an appropriate emergency applications to their mobile phones, such as the “emergency+” app developed by the Federal Government, for sufficient information on potential environmental hazards for the location the STRA activity is being carried out.

 

STRA hosts will also be required to ensure each STRA dwelling provides an information sheet on general emergency advice that provides advice to STRA guests regarding:

  • what does a total fire ban mean and what you can and can’t do on these days?
  • what do different fire warning levels mean?
  • information on emergency service broadcasts and contacts.

 

STRA Register

The department has developed a Government-run STRA Register that will be integrated with booking platform providers. Registration on the STRA Register is a mandatory requirement before you can undertake STRA in NSW and requires the registrant to confirm the STRA dwelling complies with the relevant fire safety standards.

 

Registration on the STRA Register will be available from 10 April 2021 to allow hosts to register their dwellings before the new planning rules commence on the 1 November 2021.

 

Access the STRA Register

View the STRA Register Terms and Conditions (PDF, 123 KB).

 

Registration of a STRA dwelling will incur a one off $65 registration fee and an ongoing $25 annual fee.

 

The STRA Register will track the number of days a dwelling is used for STRA, which will be assisted through registration data collected from booking platform integration. This includes non-hosted STRA activities to assist with monitoring and compliance with non-hosted STRA day limits.

 

Access to the department’s STRA Register will be provided to all NSW councils and the Department of Customer Service to assist with monitoring and compliance.

 

If you require assistance with the Register please phone 1300 305 695.

 

Short-term rental accommodation in Byron Shire

Byron Shire LGA has been excluded from the new policy until 31 January 2022. After this date, the STRA provisions will apply to the Byron Shire LGA, including a maximum of 180 days per year for non-hosted STRA.

 

The NSW Government recognises that STRA is complex issue in the Byron Shire LGA. On 11 February 2019, the former Minister for Planning announced a new Ministerial Direction that invites Byron Shire Council to prepare a planning proposal that could introduce a 90 day threshold in the most impacted parts of the LGA.

 

On 10 March 2020, Byron Shire Council lodged a planning proposal seeking to limit non-hosted STRA to 90 days in its LGA.

 

Until the planning proposal is determined or until 31 January 2022, Byron Shire LGA is exempt from the STRA policy.

 

Fair Trading Amendment (Short-term Rental Accommodation) Act 2018

 

Code of Conduct for the Short-term Rental Accommodation Industry and supporting regulation

On 18 December 2020, the new mandatory Code of Conduct and the accompanying Fair Trading Amendment (Short-term Rental Accommodation) (No 2) Regulation 2020 commenced.

 

The Code creates new minimum standards of behaviour and requirements for all industry participants, including:

  • Booking platforms
  • Hosts
  • Guests
  • Letting agents
  • Facilitators.

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

 

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

For more information you can:

Assistance using the Planning Portal:

 

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Page last updated: 16/04/2021