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Understanding the NSW Short-Term Rental Accommodation Code of Conduct

NSW Fair Trading has introduced a new code of conduct (The Code) to regulate short-term rental accommodation platforms, hosts (including management agents) and guests which will come into effect from 18 December 2020.

This article explains key obligations for short-term rental hosts and guests, and the effect of new industry registers to prevent unwanted behaviour such as party houses, negligent hosts and disruptive guests.

 

How will the new code affect short-term rental hosts and property owners in NSW ?

 

The NSW code of conduct strengthens protections against poor guest behavior that have affected some property owners and hosts in the past. MadeComfy welcomes the introduction of the code as a positive step toward a more regulated short-term rental industry that is built on trust and confidence for all participants.

 

New key obligations for hosts include:

  • Holding insurance that covers liability for third party injuries and death

  • Ensuring neighbours are able to contact them (or authorised representatives), with any concerns between 8am and 5pm every day

  • Providing guests their contact details (or authorised representative), as well as contact details of an emergency electrician, plumber and Australian emergency services

  • Taking reasonable steps to ensure guests meet their own behaviour obligations in the code, including making guests aware that the code applies to their stay and making a copy of the code readily available to them

  • Ensuring premises are not rented to a guest who is recorded on the new exclusion register (see below for further details)

 

How will the new code affect guests?

Under the new code, guests must abide by the following behaviour standards:

  • Ensuring they do not make unreasonable noise (with reference to its nature, quality, character, level or time it is made) that disrupts, harms or offends neighbours

  • Not cause damage to the premises they are staying in, including damage to common property in a strata building or neighbouring properties

  • Not act in a violent or threatening manner towards neighbours or other occupants of the premises

Guests are also responsible for the actions of their visitors, who must also abide by the behaviour standards of the code.

 

Exclusion register

A publicly accessible exclusion register will list hosts, premises and guests who breach a 'two strikes' rule against their obligations under the code of conduct.

Any host, premise or guest listed on the exclusion register is effectively banned from hosting or booking a short-term rental for a period of five years (the duration of time they are listed on the register).

In addition from being listed on the exclusion register, other penalties that can be applied for breaches of the code include warnings, directions to take or cease certain action, or fines.

 

Short-term rental accommodation register

Alongside the exclusion register that records participants who have breached the code, a separate record is currently being developed which hosts must register themselves and their premises to, which is expected to commence in 2021.

From 1 June 2021, booking platforms must ensure only registered premises are advertised on their platform and a registration number for their premises must be displayed alongside their listing details.

 

Advantages for hosts working with a professional short-term rental manager

The NSW Code of Conduct is a welcome introduction to better regulating the state's short-term rental industry, however hosts must ensure they comply with the new rules or risk addition to the exclusion register.

A professional short-term rental company can ensure your property is fully compliant with the new code, as organising for by-law distribution, and advising on insurance required.

If you have any questions on how the new code of conduct might impact your short-term rental property, or are seeking information on professional short-term rental management, you can get in touch with our team of property performance experts using the form below:

Ask an Airbnb expert: Submit your question to the MadeComfy team below.

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