Could party houses be a thing of the past?!
Rules and obligations for hosts and guests utilising short-term rentals will be governed by a formal Code of Conduct in New South Wales from 18 December 2020, the state government has announced.
Download the Code here.
NSW Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation, Kevin Anderson, unveiled the Code of Conduct, which will apply to hosts, guests, letting agents and booking platforms, which will also include formal avenues of complaint and dispute resolution for problematic hosts, anti-social guests or aggrieved neighbours.
NSW Fair Trading and its Commissioner will be the regulatory body overseeing the new Code and enforcing the rules, which will include a five-year booking ban for unruly guests utilising properties for anti-social purposes such as hosting loud and unruly parties. A ‘two strikes and you’re out’ policy will see warnings issued for initial transgressions prior to the host being hit with a ban.
All booking platforms and hosts must comply with the Code, which will outline enforceable standards and disciplinary powers available.
A government-run Premises Register will complete the reforms when it is introduced next year, along with a state environmental planning policy for the short-term rentals sector, overseen by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.
The new Code of Conduct builds on recent amendments to the Fair Trading Act allowing building strata corporations to ban the use of a non-primary residence for short-term rental.
What does the Code entail?
The Code sets out obligations for hosts, guests, booking platforms and letting agents to adhere to when engaging in short-term accommodation rentals.
Guests are to refrain from making noise that would unreasonably disrupt neighbours, damaging the premises (including any common property) and to take responsibility for any visitors to the premises during their stay.
Hosts must hold insurance which covers liability for third party injury (including death), ensure neighbours are able to contact the host with any concerns about the premises during the hours of 8am and 5pm each day, seek to ensure guests adhere to behaviour obligations under the Code and ensure the premises are not rented to someone who has been noted on the exclusion register.
Potential consequences for breaching the Code
Anyone caught breaking the Code could find themselves receiving notice to cease certain actions, being fined or for serious breaches of the Code, receiving a strike against their name. In the event a person receives two strikes within a two year period, the person will be listed on the exclusion register resulting in that person being prohibited in participating in short-term rental accommodation for up to 5 years.
What does this mean for you?
If you participate in short-term rental accommodation letting, careful consideration ought to be given to the practices and procedures you adopt when accepting short-term rental bookings.
Should you be a guest staying in short-term rental accommodation, it is prudent to be mindful of the new behaviour obligations under the Code to ensure you don’t engage in conduct which could result in you being placed on the exclusion register.
(Details here provided by O’Hearn Lawyers)