SHORT-TERM LETTING IN
Whatever you do, don't
annoy the voters!
New laws for Airbnb rentals to start in
2019 in NSW
The Castle is a great movie because it captures the
emotional attachment Australians have to their home and to
living a friendly and peaceful neighbourhood.
Town planning laws support this by strictly separating
residential from business and commercial areas, with
exceptions for home offices and occupations.
However, Airbnb style short-term rentals have disturbed
the neighbours, especially in strata buildings, because the
guests come and go frequently, some are noisy, some hold
parties and some cause damage. They have disturbed the Local
Councils because Airbnb rentals introduce a commercial
activity into residential areas.
For the past three years, the NSW Government has been
searching for a compromise between encouraging tourism and
allowing people to make extra money on the one hand, and
complaints by voters of increased levels of noise and
disturbance in residential neighbourhoods on the other.
Now the NSW Government has introduced new laws to
regulate short-term rentals.
- Homestays are legal all year round if the
owner-occupier is renting a spare room, a flat or a
studio as a short-term rental in their home. No Council
approval is needed.
- Whole house or apartment short-term rentals are
legal up to 180 days per year, where the owner-investor
is not present. This limit applies to Greater Sydney.
Elsewhere in NSW, there is no upper limit on the number
of days. No Council approval is needed.
- If the apartment is in a strata building, the Owners
Corporation can totally ban owner/investors from using
their apartment for short-term rentals, but not
owner/occupiers from using the apartment for short-term
rentals when they are away, such as on holidays (for up
to 180 days per year). A special by-law is needed,
passed by a 75% majority, to ban short-term rentals
- All hosts will need to register their property.
Airbnb hosts, guests, holiday letting agents, etc will
need to comply with a code of conduct to keep the
neighbourhood peaceful, and observe rules for parking
and garbage disposal.
Of course, there are many fine details. To find out more
Be ready for the new Airbnb /
short-term letting laws which will start in 2019 in NSW
New NSW policy
welcomes short stay rentals (Airbnb style)
On 5 June 2018, the New South Wales Government announced
a new policy for hosts for short-term Airbnb style holiday
letting. The new policy will affect both owner-occupiers and
The key is a new cap of 180 days in any one year on
short-term lettings for an investment property, meaning a
property that is not owner-occupied. The cap does not apply
to owner-occupiers who rent a spare room or rooms.
Owner-occupiers - who rent 'rooms' in houses and home
units anywhere in NSW - There is no cap on the number of
days in a year that rooms can be let for short-term
lettings. This applies to owners who let part of the house
for short-term lettings, and live in another part. If
breakfast is served, a B & B Licence might be needed from
the Local Council.
Investors - who rent 'whole' houses and home units
outside of Sydney - There is no cap on the number of
days in a year that the whole house or home unit can be let
for short-term lettings.
Investors - who rent 'whole' houses and home units in
Greater Sydney - there is a cap of 180 days in any one
year for short-term lettings. The boundary line for the
Greater Sydney Region is yet to be drawn.
Investors - who rent home units in Sydney - If the
Owners Corporation passes a 75% majority resolution (a
special resolution) then it can ban short-term lettings by
investors of 'entire' home units in the building. This
cannot affect owner-occupiers who let rooms. It is not clear
whether existing bans will be allowed to continue, or
whether a new resolution will be needed.
For all short-term lettings, there will be a new
mandatory Code of Conduct that hosts and guest must follow,
accompanied by a two-strike policy, whereby hosts or guests
who commit two serious breaches of the code within two years
will be banned for five years and listed on an exclusion
For more details on the new rules, click
Is the new NSW
Government policy a win-win for short-term (Airbnb style)
handle Airbnb-style letting in NSW – all you need know
Airbnb is growing fast in Australia and almost half the
properties involved are located in New South Wales. Many
would-be hosts are wondering about the legal, tax and
insurance implications – and their questions have now been
The answers are given in a new video released by
Sydney-based specialist travel and tourism lawyer, Anthony
Cordato. The video, which is covers six topics, has been
placed on YouTube.
“Airbnb-style short-term letting for
apartments, for holiday houses and for spare rooms is
growing rapidly in popularity for home owners, investors,
and of course leisure and business travellers,” Cordato
“The regulatory environment is playing catch-up in
NSW, and while it is, the legal framework is a grey area.”
New South Wales is a hotspot for Airbnb. There are 30,000
properties in NSW, 70,000 in Australia and 2 million
“These are big figures,” Cordato notes.
video covers six topics:
- What Planning Approvals are required for short-term
- What restrictions are there for strata titles
- How does Airbnb work?
- Loans using Airbnb income
Filmed at a property investment seminar, the video
includes interesting and relevant questions and comments
from the audience.
If you are thinking of venturing
into the world of Airbnb, or similar letting platforms,
this is essential viewing.
Written by Peter Needham,
chief travel writer, eGlobal Travel Media
Government is under pressure from traditional holiday
apartment operators, from strata residents, from Airbnb and
Stayz, and from property owners who all have a different
view about how short-term letting should and should not be
regulated in NSW.
Parliamentary Committee failed to come up with a politically
acceptable compromise, it has issued an Options Paper. It
has asked the stakeholders, the general public and the
industry to let it know what it should do.
Government puts forward four options:
Regulation: where the industry / operators adhere to a
Code of Conduct, which includes complaints management,
education and ongoing monitoring and reporting.
Special Rules for Strata Properties: where owners
corporations cannot ban short-term letting, but are
allowed to make by-laws to make owners liable for
breaches by their tenants, to streamline enforcement, to
levy extra and to strengthen the powers of the Tribunal.
Regulation through the Planning System: The Government
would like to lay down clear planning guidelines for
Local Councils, as it sees them as the best gatekeepers.
Registration or Licensing: This is seen a lighter touch
than regulation through the Planning System.
not be a quick process. In the meantime, the fast growing
industry will continue to grow in a legal grey area.