There is now a 180-day rental cap for hosts who don’t live at the property in the greater Sydney area, while the rest of the state will be allowed 365 days, and the NSW government will also give strata corporations the power to ban Airbnb in their buildings. The new Airbnb plan was announced by Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean and Planning Minister Anthony Roberts earlier this month.
The new code is designed to give owners and renters clearer guidelines and will help crack down on so-called ‘party houses’ with a new two strikes and you’re out policy. “Under our ‘two strikes and you’re out’ policy, hosts or guests who commit two serious breaches of the code within two years will be banned for five, and be listed on an exclusion register,” Mr Kean said.
“These are the toughest laws in the country and will make sure residents are protected while ensuring that hosts who do the right thing are not penalised. We have consulted widely with industry and the community to make sure our nation-leading regulatory framework is the very best approach to short-term holiday letting.”
“We’ve got the balance right between protecting people’s property rights, between recognising owner’s corporations have a role to play in the governance of strata schemes, and ensuring people who want to use these platforms like Airbnb are able to do so,” Mr Kean said.
Mr Roberts said the 180 days a year cap on Airbnb rental nights “approximately equates to weekends, school holidays and public holidays so we felt this was a fair and balanced approach”.
Outside of greater Sydney, Councils will have the power to impose their own caps, no lower than 180 days per year.
The new reforms include changes to strata legislation that give the owner’s corporations the power to pass bylaws banning short-term letting in their buildings, with a 75 percent majority, but not on properties which are owner-occupied. Strata committees will not have the power to prevent owner-occupiers from renting rooms within their units.
Airbnb and other operators will also be required to sign up to the code of conduct and share their data with the NSW government.
The policy will be reviewed in 12 months.
Airbnb global head of policy Chris Lehane has welcomed the NSW government policy changes. “They bring the rules for home sharing into the 21st century and send a clear signal that NSW embraces healthy tourism,” he said.
“The NSW government, like other governments around the world, has recognised that the way people travel and use their homes has changed, and the rules needed to change as well”.