The NSW Government has announced that the new statewide Short-Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) planning policy was made on 9 April 2021.

Originally it was planned to come into effect on 30 July 2021, however significant objection to such a short implementation time frame has resulted in a new deferred commencement clause of 1 November 2021. 

This will ensure STRA hosts, councils and industry participants have sufficient time to familiarise themselves with the new rules before the policy takes effect.

The new statewide policy for STRA will benefit homeowners who want to take advantage of holiday rentals while providing more certainty and safety for locals and visitors. 
  
The Government considered feedback received during the public exhibition of the STRA policy to ensure the home sharing economy in NSW is supported while also being respectful of community concerns.  

STRA policy  
The new policy has been introduced via amendments to State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (EP&A Regulation) and comprises: 

  • a new definition for STRA, hosted STRA and non-hosted STRA; 
  • an exempt development pathway for hosted and non-hosted STRA, including a 180-day limit restriction for non-hosted STRA based on location; 
  • an exemption of bookings of 21 consecutive days or more from the day limits for non-hosted STRA; 
  • minimum fire safety standards for dwellings used for STRA and associated penalty notice offences for non-compliance; and 
  • a new Government-run online STRA register

More details regarding the new statewide policy, including the new online STRA Register and fire safety standard, can be found by visiting the website. 

Byron Shire 
The Government acknowledges that STRA is a complex issue in the Byron Shire Local Government Area, and therefore the new statewide STRA policy will not apply in the Byron Shire LGA until 31 January 2022. 
  
After this date, the STRA provisions will apply, including a maximum of 180 days per year for non-hosted STRA. 
  

STRA Register 
From 30 July 2021, all dwellings proposed to be used for STRA will be required to be registered on the new STRA Register
  
Registration ensures that all STRA dwellings satisfy the new fire safety standard, as well as having the ability to capture the number of days a dwelling is used for STRA. 
  
The STRA Register will be available to the public for dwelling registrations from 10 April 2021. All hosts are encouraged to register their dwellings prior to the new provisions taking effect on 30 July 2021. 
  

Code of Conduct   
The Government’s new STRA policy further complements NSW Fair Trading’s new mandatory Code of Conduct for the Short-term Rental Accommodation Industry, which came into force on 18 December 2020. 
  
The Code of Conduct, which can be found here, includes behavioral obligations for guests and hosts and disciplinary actions for breaches against the Code. 

Implication on Boarding Houses  
Boarding house operators are able to continue to provide STRA as they may normally do as they are excluded (under s 51E(b)) from the New provisions for Short Term Rental Accommodation (STRA). They do not need to register as an STRA provider or comply with the Code of conduct for STRA, as boarding houses are not captured by STRA legislative requirements.  

More information   
Fair Trading has developed a suite of fact sheets and FAQs, which are available on their website. If you have questions about the Register, call the information line on 1300 305 695. 
 

About the author : This story was compiled by the Property Owners’ Association of NSW. Further information can be found at www.poansw.com.au
  

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