Tourism Accommodation Australia NSW (TAA) said the changes inch closer to a properly regulated short-term accommodation sector and could help “level the playing field” for the struggling hotel industry.
The Accommodation Association also cheered on the NSW Government announcement, which promises that strata schemes can adopt by-laws prohibiting short-term rentals where the lot is not the host’s principal place of residence.
“The Accommodation Association has worked with government over four years to agree a regulatory framework that ensures the amenity, safety and protection of visitors and residents, including the assurance that these short term rentals have public liability insurance,” said Mr Long.
“The current Covid-19 environment, reinforces that short term rentals where the host is not present, particularly in residential apartments, do not have the protections in place for residents and communities.”
Unfortunately, the package of amendments inclusive of the Code of Conduct has been delayed, The Accommodation Association confirmed.
TAA NSW CEO Michael Johnson said the Code – expected to be released later this year – will finally introduce obligations for hosts, guests, online booking platforms and letting agents, as well as a complaints process for breaches.
“While the Code has been delayed, it’s been pleasing to see amendments to the Fair Trading Act 1987, Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 and the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 recently commence,” he said.
“Owners’ corporations in NSW will now be able to pass by-laws prohibiting short-term rental accommodation within their schemes (in lots which are not the principal place of residence of the host). Further, short-term rental accommodation arrangements of three months or less will not be regulated under the residential tenancies laws. We welcome these moves.
“TAA thanks the NSW government for the amendments – particularly at this difficult time for our sector. We look forward to changes in planning laws including registration and a new state-wide definition of short-term rental accommodation, as well as new ‘exempt’ and ‘complying’ approval pathways which allow short-term rental accommodation within day limits.
The Accommodation Association said in a statement: “The current situation demonstrates clearly that governments and Councils currently lack oversight of short term rentals in apartment hotels and the measures that are in place to protect the safety and amenity of visitors, residents and communities. Ultimately an effective registration system, will be critical in both monitoring and enforcing host compliance with both the planned Code of Conduct and the Planning regulations.
“In contrast to the lack of safety measures in short term rental, regulated tourism accommodation has stepped up during this period to assist government in meeting the needs of residents who need to self-isolate, medical workers and the disadvantaged. These are establishments who have invested heavily in the infrastructure, the insurances and the protections to ensure the safety of these people.
TAA’s Johnson added: “With the new code of conduct, registration and planning laws in place we can finally hope to see a regulated short-term rental accommodation environment which actually complements the embattled accommodation sector as opposed to putting jobs at risk and disrupting residential areas.”
The Accommodation Association also said it looks forward to continuing to work with the NSW Government post the pandemic to ensure that a strong regulatory framework is in place to protect the safety and amenity of residents and communities in the longer term.