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    The NSW government released their discussion document of the proposed new short-term letting regulations this week and, of course, they make interesting reading.

    I will be examining the proposal for a register – policed by the short-term letting industry – in greater depth in my column in next weekend’s Australian Financial Reviwe (published here shortly thereafter).

    But one …

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  • #41004

    Great analysis – you have spotted a winning blindside play by the Fireys which will change the financial viability of short-term rentals (for those not into rugby union or rugby league, a blindside play is where the ball is passed unexpectedly to the short side of the field (the side with fewer players) instead of to the other side with more players where it was expected, often resulting in try to the attacking team because of the element of surprise).
    The Fireys do not enforce fire regulations, it is Local Councils which do. For example, the Sydney City Council which has for some years insisted on fire exit signs, a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket, annual certification and an evacuation plan in serviced apartments. Now, the Fireys have added hard-wired smoke detectors to this list and the NSW Government have extended the fire requirements to short-term rental accommodation. This will be expensive for providers of short-term rentals because it is they, not the owners corporation, who will bear the cost of this fire compliance within their apartment / townhouse.
    Which brings me to the register. The appropriate body to maintain the short-term rental providers register is surely the local council – after all, they are the planning authority who can check if the use is permissible, and they are the responsible authority for fire compliance. Of course, they need to be paid for this, and so an annual fee of $250 (as in other cities) would be appropriate.
    Leave the Code of Conduct to Fair Trading, whose idea it was and who have more expertise than the Local Council in conduct matters.
    I’ll be making a submission along these lines to the NSW Government and encourage other Flat Chat readers to do so!


    Just a thought … but what would happen if an owners corp refused to allow the apartment owner to install all those additional alarms in common property (the ceiling)?


    This is a quote from late 2015.  It was submitted to the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Airbnb-type rentals.  The submission was marked by the Committee Members/MPs as ‘confidential’:

    “The issue of short-term letting is an important and live issue which should come under close scrutiny, especially in light of the Coroner’s Inquiry and Inquest into the death of Connie Zhang at Bankstown,”

    (Assistant Director for NSW Fire & Rescue, Greg Buckley).

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by .

    In relation to the register and who should administer.  If you ask the local Council they will says its too hard and some may not have the computer systems that would allow for it.  My thought is to use Services NSW.  They have a systems very similar to what would be required for the STRA system.  Their drivers licence and car registration systems.

    A simple solution would be for Services NSW to create and manage two registers where by any Agent or Facilitator must be supplied, by the Host, the two unique Services NSW registered numbers before they can initiate a booking.

    One number is the Hosts number, that similar to a drivers licence number. The second is the property number that is similar to a car registration number.  In addition, the Services NSW file would also contain information on the property in question in that it complies with the required fire and bush fire regulations, that it has the mandatory insurances and the number of strikes against the Host, supplied by the Commissioner, again similar to the number of demerit points on your licence.

    If the system was on line it could also work as the Centre that keeps track of each booking with the name of the Guest with their identification details.  The cost for this service would be yearly fees paid by the Host, similar to a drivers licence fee (one for the Host) and a car registration fee (for each property being used for STRA).  In all my dealings with Services NSW I have been impressed with the service and their web site and could see no problems with Services NSW handling these registrars.

    If you think about it the STRA system would be similar to the system that administers licences and car registration in NSW so the logic when coding the new system would be very similar.  You wouldn’t need to reinvent the wheel and the costs to the Host would be similar to licence and registration fees.


    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by .

    A good thought – and at least the minister in charge of Services, Victor Dominello, understands strata.

    But I can hear the holiday letting industry (for that’s what it is) screaming “red tape … red tape!!!”

    It amazes me that we had planning laws that had evolved over decades to protect residents of all kinds from rampant commercialism and crazy, selfish neighbours … and then along comes an American company that pays minimal tax in this country and they are allowed to tip everything on its head to benefit a few people (while consistently misrepresenting their corporate pillaging as a social service.

    Meanwhile our politicians refuse to even look overseas (unless they are being offered a free trip to see the banks of computers in said company’s HQ) to witness the social damage that has been wrought in so many cities.

    Hey, MPs, if you like looking at computer screens, JB Hi-Fi has heaps.  Tourism is great for the economy, stable affordable housing is great for society.  Your job is to get the balance right and as of now, you’re not even close.



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