towels on top of stool

A newly introduced state-wide regulatory framework sets new standards and provisions overseeing management of short-term rental accommodations (STRA). The amendments, which come into effect 1 November 2021, seeks to benefit hosts, whilst offering security for locals and guests.

Among the suite of amendments include:

  • New definitions for STRA, hosted STRA and non-hosted STRA

Hosted accommodations refer to one where the owner resides at the property while renting it out (i.e., in a granny flat), while non-hosted is one where the owner does not reside during the accommodation.

  • New STRA exempt development approval pathway for hosted and non-hosted STRA

The scheme relates to minor building renovations or works that do not require any planning or building approval. While hosted STRAs have this exemption all-year round, non-hosted STRA’s have this exemption 180 days of the year, and only applies to certain types of STRAs and areas.

  • Amendments to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000

Following recommendations which aim to strike a balance between higher safety requirements in STRA where guests are more unfamiliar with dwellings, and affordability for the host, new fire safety standards seek to reduce risks facing guests by providing a new fire safety checklist for hosts (see here).

The amendments also introduce a government-run STRA Register, which will monitor whether a host’s property complies with the new standards.

If a breach of the new rules is identified, the amendments state that a first a warning or direction to comply with the regulations may be given. If the violation continues, a monetary penalty, a ‘strike’ against the host premises or guest. In more serious instances, the host or guest may be recorded on the Exclusion Register, which precludes further involvement in the short-term rental accommodation industry.

The availability of these harsh penalties serves as a serious incentive for hosts and guests to comply with the changes to the Code, especially as a growing number of people rely on their secondary properties for additional income streams.

The 1 November commencement date means that hosts, councils, and industry participants still have time to familiarise themselves and comply with the amendments. For enquiries regarding the new regulations and how to comply with them, contact Morgan + English.

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