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New rules for Short-term Rental Accommodation (STRA) : your place or next door party central

New Rules: New rules around Exempt development for Short-term Rental Accommodation to come into place will come into effect on 30 July 2021 Under the new rules Short-term Rental Accommodation (STRA) more exemptions will be available for anyone considering this option on those properties identified where very low impact development can be done for certain residential, commercial and industrial premises. As long as the proposed works meet all of the development standards (identified in the relevant State Policy), approval may not be needed. The amendments are a response to ongoing consultation with stakeholders and feedback received from councils, industry and the general public. The new statewide policy will provide more certainty within the planning system regarding STRA and clearly outline the responsibilities for all industry participants. What is short-term rental accommodation (STRA) ? Short-term Rental Accommodation (STRA) refers to a dwelling used by the ‘host’ to provide accommodation in the dwelling on a commercial basis for a temporary or short-term period. STRA is often facilitated through online booking platforms such as Stayz, Airbnb and Booking.com. Can I undertake STRA in my dwelling? STRA can be undertaken in lawfully constructed dwellings used for the purpose of residential accommodation in all land use zones in which dwellings are currently permissible. Typical residential accommodation dwelling types include:  a dwelling house (e.g. a detached house),  an attached dwelling,  a dual occupancy,  multi dwelling housing,  a residential flat building (e.g. a unit in a block of flats),  a secondary dwelling (e.g. a granny flat),  a semi-detached dwelling, and shop top housing What has been introduced? The new planning framework introduces a new definition for short-term rental accommodation, hosted STRA and non-hosted STRA and introduces an exempt development approval pathway for hosted and non-hosted STRA, facilitating:  - hosted STRA as exempt development in a dwelling, 365 days per year;  - non-hosted STRA as exempt development in a dwelling, 180 days per in Greater Sydney and nominated regional NSW LGAs, and 365 days per year in all other locations; - provides an exemption of bookings of 21 consecutive days or more from the 180 day limit on non-hosted STRA. The new planning framework also includes an amendment to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (EP&A Regulation) to: - introduce new fire safety standards for dwellings used for STRA and associated penalty notice offences for non-compliance; and - create a new Government-run STRA Register that will ensure compliance with the new fire safety standards, as well track the day limits of each STRA dwelling. A new Government-run register for STRA has been developed to ensure compliance with the new fire safety standards. Upon registration, the registrant or host is required to agree to a disclaimer confirming that the relevant owner’s consent has been obtained and that the STRA property complies with the fire safety standards. STRA guests face additional safety risks than those of permanent residents, as they are less familiar with the dwelling and its surrounds. The new fire safety standards seek to reduce risks to guests though enhanced early warning, additional safety measures and education. The Register will also capture the number of days a property is used for STRA and will be integrated with key STRA booking platforms (e.g. Stayz and AirBnB), allowing for improved monitoring of the policy’s day limits. Information on STRA properties collected through the register in an LGA will be made available via the NSW Planning Portal to the relevant Council to assist with monitoring and compliance. Registration of a dwelling on the STRA Register will incur a non-refundable one off registration fee of $65 for the initial 12 months and an ongoing annual renewal fee of $25. The STRA Register is now live to the public via the NSW Government’s NSW Planning Portal. Registrants and hosts can now register their dwellings prior to the new planning rules taking effect from 30 July 2021. What is an Exempt Development Approval Pathway? Exempt development typically relates to minor building renovations or works that don’t need any planning or building approval. Exempt development is very low impact development that can be done for certain residential, commercial and industrial properties. As long as the proposed works meet all of the development standards (identified in the relevant State Policy), approval may not be needed. The new STRA planning framework provides a single, streamlined exempt development approval pathway that facilitates STRA in existing, lawfully approved residential accommodation that does not comprise of; • a boarding house, • a group home, • a hostel, • a moveable dwelling, • a caravan • an eco-tourist facility, • refuge or crisis accommodation, • tourist and visitor accommodation, • a rural workers’ dwelling, or • seniors housing. STRA is exempt development under two scenarios, being hosted and non-hosted STRA. These include: • Hosted STRA – must ensure the host resides on the premises during the period of the accommodation provided and may be undertaken on any land in a zone in which residential accommodation of a type corresponding to the dwelling is permitted with or without development consent, 365 days per year. • Non-hosted STRA – can be carried out without the host residing on the premises and may be undertaken on any land in a zone in which residential accommodation of a type correspondence to the dwelling is permitted with or without consent, and that the use of the dwelling for non-hosted STRA does not cause the dwelling to be used for that purpose for more than 180 days in the following locations: o the Greater Sydney Region, o the Ballina area, o the Bega Valley area, o the City of Newcastle area, o the Dubbo Regional area, o certain land in the Clarence Valley area, and o certain land in the Muswellbrook area. On 18 December 2020, the Department of Customer Service introduced a mandatory Code of Conduct (the Code) which applies to all STRA industry participants, including online accommodation platforms, letting agents, hosts and guests. The Code addresses impacts like noise levels, disruptive guests and effects on shared neighbourhood amenities. The Code of Conduct also includes the requirement restricting booking platforms from listing STRA properties unless they are registered on the Department’s STRA Premises Register.

For further information about the New rules for STRA, please read:

  • Frequently asked questions - April 2021 (PDF, 208 KB)

  • Factsheet: Additional information for councils - April 2021 (PDF, 165 KB)

  • Factsheet: Information for hosts - April 2021 (PDF, 247 KB)

  • Factsheet guide for hosts: Emergency information - April 2021 (PDF, 144 KB)



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