The NSW Government has implemented a new statewide regulatory framework for short-term rental accommodation (STRA), which includes
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 will benefit homeowners who want to take advantage of holiday rentals while providing more certainty and safety for local communities 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:
The new STRA policy includes a deferred commencement clause, meaning the new planning rules won’t take effect until 1 November 2021. This gives STRA hosts, councils and industry participants sufficient time to familiarise themselves with the new rules before the policy takes effect on 1 November 2021.
Until the NSW Government’s new state-wide 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 Code of Conduct for short-term rental accommodation industry has been established under the Fair Trading Act 1987 and the Fair Trading Regulation 2019. It is administered by the Commissioner for Fair Trading in the NSW Department of Customer Service.
The Code of Conduct sets out the legal responsibilities and compliance approach for hosts, letting agents, guests and booking platforms for STRA in NSW.
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.
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.
More information about how to register and exemptions are on the Planning Portal.
The new STRA planning policy framework comprises new standard provisions and introduces:
The STRA policy is supported by:
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:
The following dwellings are not considered short-term rental accommodation under the new rules:
More information about the new rules for STRA are available on the Planning Portal.
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:
A factsheet on fire safety standards is available on the planning portal (PDF, 154KB)
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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 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.
Page last updated: 06/10/2021