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What is short-term rental accommodation?


23 Dec 2021

Short-term rental accommodation (STRA) is a long-standing practice in New South Wales and is commonly associated with holiday letting. It generally involves residential dwellings that may also be used by the owners for their own accommodation.

Changes in technology have seen a rise in online booking services that have contributed to a significant increase in short-term rental accommodation options.

This has seen economic benefits flow to homeowners and communities with empty homes being used to house tourists and visitors. However, this has also led to amenity impacts on residential neighbours due to inconsiderate or anti-social behaviour from some short-term rental occupants.

The Government’s approach to regulating short-term rental is focused on commercial arrangements where a person is given the right to occupy a residential premises for up to three months at a time.

This means existing laws on residential tenancies and other traditional forms of short-term accommodation, such as hotels and motels, remain unchanged.

How NSW short-term rental accommodation is regulated

STRA is regulated through:

  • a mandatory Code of Conduct that applies to all participants
  • a state-wide planning framework
  • a mandatory short-term rental accommodation premises register
  • strata scheme by-laws that restrict certain types of short-term rentals.

Code of Conduct

A mandatory Code of Conduct for the Short-term Rental Accommodation Industry (Code) applies to all participants in the STRA industry.

The Code applies minimum standards of behaviour and requirements on all participants.

Read more about the obligations for:

The Code creates new disciplinary actions that NSW Fair Trading can take, including listing non-compliant participants on an Exclusion Register.

Read more about the new disciplinary actions at Short-term Rental Accommodation complaints.

Read more about the Exclusion Register.

Planning laws and premises register

Changes to planning laws came into effect in November 2021, including a new planning policy that applies consistent regulation of the use of premises for short-term rental accommodation across NSW.

More information about these laws is on the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment website.

Most must register their properties on the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s STRA register. Relevant properties must be registered before they can be advertised or offered for short-term rental. There are fees associated with registration.

Strata laws

Owners corporations can adopt by-laws restricting types of short-term rental accommodation within its strata scheme.

Read more about managing short-term rental at by-laws in your strata scheme.

Who is regulated by these laws?

The Code of Conduct applies to all industry participants involved in setting up short-term rental accommodation arrangements including:

The following accommodation arrangements are excluded from the Code of Conduct:

  • tourist and visitor accommodation including backpackers’ accommodation, hotel or motel accommodation, and serviced apartments
  • boarding houses
  • holiday parks
  • refuge and crisis accommodation
  • disability accommodation
  • residential tenancies.
From NSW Government Fair Trading