No limit for short-term rental accommodation: Bega Valley

Short-term rental accommodation in the Bega Valley Shire will not be capped following a Council resolution at its 30 June meeting.

The resolution means there will be no limit to how many nights people can rent their properties for short-term accommodation throughout the year, supporting the tourism industry which is critical to our shire. In making the decision, Council recognised the separate issue of a shortage of permanent rental accommodation and resolved to advocate to the NSW Government for effective measures to address this issue.

Council’s resolution was made in response to the NSW Government’s announcement of a new state-wide policy for short-term rental accommodation (STRA) to come into effect on 1 November 2021.

The new framework applies to dwellings, secondary dwellings and shop top housing. It does not apply to approved tourist and visitor accommodation such as hotels, motels or serviced apartments.

The framework introduces a new definition for STRA and differentiates between hosted STRA (where the host resides on the premises during the provision of the accommodation) and non-hosted STRA (where the host does not reside on the premises during the provision of the accommodation).

The framework also features 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 either 180 days or 365 days per year.

Council’s resolution means that non-hosted STRA will be permitted as an activity that does not require development approval, 365 days per year in the Bega Valley Shire.

STRA owners and providers in the shire will still have additional legal obligations to comply with the new framework, with changes including:

  • new fire safety standards for dwellings used for STRA
  • a new STRA register run by the Office of Fair Trading that will record compliance with the new fire safety standards
  • the requirement to participate in a new mandatory Code of Conduct.

The Code of Conduct applies to all industry participants including online accommodation platforms, letting agents, hosts and guests.

Strata buildings may still be subject to by-laws that prohibit non-hosted STRA, depending on the resolution of the Strata Committee.

Further information is available here: https://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/stra

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