Short-Term Letting – Strata Owners to Decide (mostly)

In an unexpected move, the NSW Government has released its updated policy on short-term letting.

On Tuesday, Better Regulations Minister Matt Keen announced the revamped policy, which now permits Owners Corporations to pass by-laws which ban short term letting in non-owner-occupied apartments.

The Policy is lacking in detail as to actual practical operation, but in short:

  • Short-term letting is restricted to 180-days in the greater Sydney area.
  • A code of conduct to be developed, and hosts who acquire ‘two strikes’ within any two-year period will be ‘banned’ from online platforms for five years.
  • Complaints will be assessed by the Office of Fair Trading and financial penalties may be imposed.
  • Owners Corporation will be able to pass by-laws that prohibit short term letting for non-owner-occupiers.
  • Owner-occupiers will be able to short-term let spare bedrooms while they are in residence, or full apartments if they are absent.

While Air BnB have praised the reforms, which appear to be an attempt to compromise with all stake holders, HomeAway (formally Stayz) have publicly denounced the policy, suggesting it infringes on the property rights of individuals.

The policy is expected to be introduced as new planning laws in the coming months, and the Government has committed to a further review in 12 months.

Based on this new policy, we recommend that Owners Corporations review their current by-laws and look to amend any by-law currently in place to manage short-term letting to reflect the new planning laws.

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