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ASTRA welcomes ‘grace period’ for fire safety upgrade requirement

Locked-down owners and operators given extra time to action upgrades

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment (DPIE) has granted short term rental owners and operators a grace period of four months to March 1, 2022, allowing them extra time to install and upgrade required new Fire Safety Standards (FSS).

The FSS upgrade forms part of a DPIE property registration requirement for owners and operators introduced in July 2021 and previously mandated for action by November 1.

NSW planning director, Luke Walton confirmed the Government had acknowledged ASTRA’s concerns that ongoing lockdowns were making it difficult for owners and operators to upgrade their properties to the new FSS in time for the November 1 registration deadline. 

Welcoming the news, Australian Short Term Rental Accommodation Association (ASTRA) chair, Rob Jeffress said ongoing lockdowns have made it difficult for many owners and operators to access and upgrade their properties while others are having difficulty finding professional installers due to the shortage of licensed contractors.

“We’re very pleased NSW Planning has listened to the concerns of our members,” he said.

The mandatory Code of Conduct for the Short Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) Industry was implemented by NSW Fair Trading on December 18, 2020, creating new minimum standards of behaviour and requirements for all participants.

These include owners/hosts, guests, letting agents and facilitators and booking platforms.

Along with the Code of Conduct, a registration requirement was introduced as a key component of short term rental regulations to drive professional standards and provide certainty for owners, operators and guests.

As part of the registration process, owners and operators are also required to upgrade their property to the new NSW FFS.

The new FSS standards include ‘connected’ lithium smoke detectors, evacuation plans and display of local emergency contact numbers. STRA apartments in strata complexes will also be required to install a fire extinguisher and fire blanket.

STRA properties will still need to Register with DPIE by the November 1 deadline but will now have an option to take up the four-month grace period.

The best way to keep up with ever-evolving legislative reform relating to residential strata property strata and mixed-use properties sector can be obtained from the Australian Building Management Accreditation (ABMA) Building Management Code – visit https://abma.org.au.

A new edition is released annually to inform subscribers of all changes embedded since the prior year, in simple language relevant to the residential strata and mixed-use properties sector.

 

 

Mike Parker-Brown

Mike Parker-Brown is a UK-trained and qualified journalist and an award-winning travel communicator with more than 30 years experience. Since 2002, Mike has worked as a freelance writer and PR consultant providing his services to major organisations in Australia and internationally in the tourism, aviation, hospitality, recruitment and export marketing sectors.

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