New laws for short-term rentals such as Airbnb
27th October 2020
After two years of waiting, the State Government has finally released the new Code of Conduct for the short-term rental accommodation (STRA) industry (Airbnb etc).
My thoughts on this issue are well known and I've been critical of the fact that these laws do not go far enough in regulating an industry that has had significant negative impacts on some suburbs and on many people who suddenly found themselves living next door to party houses and quasi hotels in suburban streets - the same reasons that many cities around the world have banned the industry.
Having said that, this new Code of Conduct goes some way towards protecting neighbours and local communities, while also protecting people who 'host' or rent their homes out. They will also go some way towards weeding out the bad hosts and bad guests.
You can read the full details on the link below, but here are some of the main points of the new laws:
* The industry is now regulated in NSW and all homes leased for STRA accommodation must now be registered, along with the property owners. Guests must also have registered accounts before booking.
* A complaints process is now in place and the sector will be governed by a Commissioner within Fair Trading NSW.
* If there are two strikes recorded against a property, a guest or a host for breaches of the code in any two-year period, that person or property is banned from the market for five years.
* Breaches of the code include excessive noise or anything that "unreasonably disrupts or interferes with the regular peace and comfort of neighbours".
* The code is also designed to protect hosts from bad guests who don't obey the rules, but bad guests can also attract a 'strike' against the property so it's in the interests of owners and hosts to make sure their guests behave themselves.
* It will be illegal for the likes of Airbnb to list properties, or properties owned by people who have been banned from operating. Very large fines will apply. The same goes for guests who have been struck out or who do the wrong thing, and that includes booking premises under the names of friends or relatives.
* The new code is very detailed so I encourage people who list properties for STRA, and those who actually use the likes of Airbnb or Stayz or Weekenda, to understand the new laws.
* Read more here.