Following an 18-month long NSW parliamentary inquiry into the booming short-term rental market, the official findings were handed to the Baird government on Wednesday, 19 October. The report recommended that all homeowners and property investors across NSW be allowed to use house-sharing sites like Airbnb to let rooms to tourists and holiday-makers without the risk of being fined.
Currently, only 12 NSW councils have rules allowing property owners to lease properties for short-term stays using sites like Airbnb. Other councils either lack the provisions to regulate the growing industry or have rules that make the practice illegal. To iron out inconsistencies, the parliamentary inquiry aims to pass a single set of state-wide rules for all homeowners and property investors who use house-sharing sites like Airbnb.
The report—driven by Liberal MP Mark Coure and supported by Airbnb—made the following key recommendations:
- No permission required to host your home.
Private homeowners who want to rent out their principal place of residence to short-term guests should not be required to seek permission beforehand, mainly because the practice creates little to no interruption in communities.
This is great news, not just for homeowners who host their residences on Airbnb, but for short-term property management specialists like MadeComfy. Homeowners who want to rent their homes to short term guests can enjoy higher rental income when they partner with companies like MadeComfy.
“We take care of everything from professional photography, listing [the owner’s] home on multiple booking portals, maximising rates and occupancy, managing guest communication, bookings and check-in, offering 24/7 guest support and arranging cleaning and 5-star linen,” said Sabrina Bethunin, co-founder and managing director of MadeComfy.
Short-term rentals provide a major economic boost to property owners, and the domestic market is now worth $1 billion.
- Light regulations for investment property owners.
Investment property owners will only face light regulations and zero restrictions on the maximum number of nights they can rent their properties to short-term guests, as is the case in the United Kingdom and United States. According to MP Coure, a fast track application process has been recommended.
- No restriction of short-term rentals in strata buildings.
The report also strongly advises against allowing owners’ corporations to restrict short-term rentals from strata buildings. If problems arise, the report recommends strata managers take complaints directly to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
The Baird government is expected to come to a decision within the next three months.
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