Stayz wants key elements of NSW’s short-stay plan dumped, joining other industry leaders in warning curbs could damage the state’s economic growth.
The holiday let platform argues the following elements of the plan, due to come into force by the end of 2019, should be scrapped or reworked:
- The ability for strata schemes to ban short-term rental accommodation in their buildings.
- The 180-day cap for holiday homes in metropolitan Sydney and the ability for local governments in regional NSW to impose a day cap on holiday homes.
- The outright ban on holiday homes that contain 12 or more beds and limits on the number of guests allowed in a bedroom.
In a statement, Stayz endorsed proposals for a registration system and code of conduct governing short lets but said: “To ensure the holiday rental industry continues to be an engine room of economic growth, Stayz has also called on the NSW government to drop the burdensome elements of its proposed planning rules.
“Across New South Wales, the holiday rental industry drove $2.1 billion dollars of economic growth and supported 11,575 jobs in 2017/18.
“Several proposed planning rules will put this valuable economic uplift at risk, particularly in regional areas where the availability of traditional accommodation is limited.”
It is a position mirrored by Trevor Rawnsley, chief executive of the Australian Resident Accommodation Managers Association, who has described the 180-day cap proposals as “draconian” and a brake on free market investment.
“If you’re an investor owner, it cuts your ability to get a dollar return by 50 percent,” he said.
The cap on rental nights follows lobbying from industry bodies including Tourism Accommodation Australia and the Accommodation Association of Australia, which argue some short stay rentals are operating like hotels without being subject to the safety and tax regulations governing the rest of the industry.
Both organisations have welcomed the government’s draft proposals, AAoA chief executive Dean Long describing short stay as “one of the greatest challenges our sector is facing” and describing the plans as “a start to the process of creating a level playing field”.
While advocating changes to the draft laws, Stayz agrees regulation is overdue and is urging the NSW government to implement its short stay plans as quickly as possible.
The platform supports a compulsory register of all holiday rentals – a marked difference to its short stay rival Airbnb, which has accused the government of caving to “closed doors lobbying” and described registration as an unnecessary barrier to becoming a host.
Stayz corporate affairs director Eacham Curry Curry said: “When implemented in Portugal and the Netherlands, the registration of holiday rentals has proven to be a low-cost and effective way of informing the development of sensible rules for our growing sector.
“Stayz is also a strong supporter of the creation of a code of conduct and strikes-based disciplinary regime for holiday homeowners and travellers. While the overwhelming majority of homeowners and their guests do the right thing when using a holiday rental, it is clear that tougher rules are required to deal with the small minority who fail to meet community standards.
“Packaged together, the mandatory code of conduct, strikes-based disciplinary regime and compulsory registration system will ensure that all homeowners subscribe to the ground rules for listing a property. This will also give the wider community more certainty that complaints about noise, over-crowding or anti-social behaviour will be dealt with swiftly and decisively.”