STRA Code of Conduct to commence in December 2020

The final Code of Conduct governing short term rental accommodation in NSW has been released and will commence on 18 December 2020.  A link to the Code of Conduct is here.  The Department of Fair Trading also has a helpful summary update of the changes here.

The mandatory code sets out rights and obligations for all short term rental industry participants – being booking platforms, letting agents, hosts and guests. 

The code provides behaviour standards for guests, such as obligations not to create noise which would disrupt neighbours or cause damage to common property in strata schemes.  Hosts are also required to take reasonable steps to ensure their guests meet the behaviour obligations and standards.

Under the code hosts are required to take out insurance for third party injuries and death and must be contactable during the hours of 8am – 5pm to deal with complaints and other issues.  If the premises is in a strata or community scheme, the host must also notify the owners corporation/community association that they are offering short term rental accommodation and provide their contact details.

The code enables complaints to be made to the Commissioner for Fair Trading about failures to the comply with the code.  Breaches of the code may result in fines, warning notices, directions requiring industry participants to act or stop acting in a certain manner, recording of strikes against a host or guest or inclusion on an exclusion register.  Any host or guest with two strikes in a two year period will be recorded on the exclusion register for five years.  Any host or guest on the exclusion register will be prohibited from participating in short term rental accommodation arrangements.

A premises register and planning policy changes will be introduced next year to complete the short term rental regulatory framework.

Owners Corporations wishing to regulate short term rental accommodation in their community should seek advice on their by-laws and how the process can be managed in light of these new regulatory changes.