Due to the growing popularity of accommodation services like Airbnb and Stayz the Berejiklian government has proposed a cracking down on the practice, claiming that the surge in guests disrupts traffic, threatens the safety of communities, and puts pressure on shared strata facilities.
Last Friday, the state government released an options paper for short-term rentals. This paper outlines the options for regulating short-term holiday letting across NSW, and intends to standardise what is currently an ad-hoc process from council to council.
Under the proposed changes, short-term letters would have to acquire a license and pay a levy to cover the costs of providing additional security and maintaining the shared amenities used by guests.
The state government may also impose a time limit on letters, similar to a new ruling which was passed in New York City.
Anthony Roberts, the NSW premier for planning, said a framework is needed to address the concerns of building owners and stressed neighbours. “This is about getting the balance right to ensure that neighbours have certain rights and protections, as well as providing for those people that choose to rent out their accommodation for a short period of time,” he said.
The Berejiklian government proposes handing over more power to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), as well as owners corporations, to resolve disputes.
Over the next three months, the proposed changes will be open to public and industry consultation, while the government develops a framework to manage the short-term rental industry.
“The options paper clearly identifies that short-term letting in apartment buildings can cause impacts, and this is why strata communities want the right to be able to grant permission or not, or impose specific conditions,” said Alex Greenwich, a member of the NSW Legislative Assembly seat of Sydney.
“I encourage my parliamentary colleagues, apartment residents and people affected by short term letting to actively participate in providing feedback to the paper; it’s clear there will be a concerted corporate campaign from those whose business model benefits from lax regulation, including denying apartment owners the right to set the rules for their building,” Greenwich said.
Aside from preventing party houses from overtaking quiet neighbourhoods, reform should strive to ensure that communities are adequately protected, and that housing affordability isn’t further eroded as once pleasant neighbourhoods are transformed into “hotel precincts dominated by ever changing holiday makers,” Greenwich added.
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