New rules governing the short-stay rental market in New South Wales will apply differently to “hosted” rentals and “non-hosted” rentals.
The New South Wales Government has issued a discussion paper outlining a draft planning policy, a code of conduct and a proposed industry register.
The NSW Government’s move follows the passage of Victorian law in February. Similar moves are planned for Western Australia.
Under the NSW draft, “short-term rental accommodation” will become a new approved planning use to be included in residential zonings.
Short-term rentals are for periods of up to three months. Beyond that, it is a residential tenancy.
No local council permission will be required if it is “hosted” – that is, the host resides in the dwelling while it is used for rental.
However, the dwelling must have been lawfully constructed for the purpose of residential accommodation and built on land for dwellings of that kind. There can be no more than two people per bedroom and no more than 12 in total.
Restrictions apply if it is “non-hosted” short-term rental accommodation. If the dwelling is located in the Greater Sydney Region, the Ballina area, the City of Lake Macquarie area, in parts of the Clarence Valley or Muswellbrook areas, there is a day limit of 180 days in a calendar year.
In the Byron Shire the limit is 90 days. Elsewhere in regional NSW there is no day limit.
If the dwelling is in a strata scheme anywhere in NSW and is an apartment, townhouse or villa unit, the right to rent short term is limited to 180 days. If the dwelling is not the hosts’ principal place of residence, the right to rent can be removed completely by a strata by-law.
If the dwelling is situated on bushfire prone land or is on a flood control lot, it cannot be used without development consent.
The draft includes a fire safety standard and a code of conduct. The policy will commence sometime next year.
In Victoria, The Owners Corporations Amendment (Short-stay Accommodation) Act gives owners corporations more discretion to self-regulate short-stay accommodation in their buildings.
Under the law, members of an owners’ corporation, tenants and property managers can lodge a complaint against a short-stay accommodation provider who enters into a short-stay accommodation with an occupant who creates excessive noise or behaves in a manner that will likely interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of other occupiers.
Complaints can also be made where the occupant causes health, safety or security hazards, damages common property or obstructs another resident from using their property.
When a complaint is made, an owners’ corporation must decide whether to take action in relation to the complaint. Where it takes no action it must provide a notice to the person who has made the complaint giving reasons why no action was taken.
If action is taken the owners corporation must notify the accommodation providers, requiring it to rectify the breach.
If a breach is not rectified the owners’ corporation can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to resolve the dispute. VCAT has the power to issue fines up to $1100 to both the accommodation provider and the occupant, and order that other owners be compensated up to $2000 for loss of amenity.
VCAT will have the power to prohibit the use of the accommodation for short-stay arrangements if three separate complaints are made within a 24-month period.
Owners corporations must report at their annual general meetings on the number and type of complaints received, what action was taken and the outcome of any action taken.