Update – Short Term Holiday Letting

November 2nd, 2020

Changes to AirBnB policy.

NSW Fair Trading has introduced its new STRA (Short Term Rental Accommodation) policy. It will become effective on December 18. It basically concentrates on behaviour control of short term holiday renters. The main principle is the “two strikes and you’re out” provision. This means that if a landlord gets two complaints against them in two years, you are disallowed to Holiday Let for five years. You can read the policy here.

Byron Council is not happy. They wanted to have the 180-day, or even the 90- day maximum rental a year policy also introduced. Cr Michael Lyon has made this his signature policy and it seems they were not consulted at all. Byron Council has been arguing strongly that they need stronger provisions to fight against the loss of community housing.

Mayor Simon Richardson Says:

Some info regarding the holiday letting announcement made yesterday.
The announcements were made by one of the two departments with powers. The anti-party house announcement was by Fair Trading, but the important department- The Department of Planning (DPIE) is lagging behind at the moment and seems frozen – this has frustrated greatly Council’s ability to progress our own planning proposal.

The COVID period has not helped either as Council is being asked for further economic impact analysis on our proposal which is only looking at it from a business perspective, not on residential amenity and local housing perspectives.

Bottom line #1: There continues to be a dreadful disconnect between the state government who are seeing this as an economic growth area and local government and impacted community who understand the impacts go far beyond the tourism industry.

Bottom Line #2: The Code to come into effect 18 December is toothless without the planning law changing and the registers in place.
Neither to occur until mid-2021. There remain obligations on council and the police to enforce aspects of STRA without any additional funding.
So a rule in place with no funds allocated to enforce it.

Presently the Shire’s numbers of STRA properties have returned to pre COVID times and most being booked well and truly for the holiday season ahead.

We are already hearing about displaced families and individuals being evicted from local housing the result.

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