A new holiday rental code of conduct is now in force, and while it is expected to offer an added layer of protection to both rental guests and hosts, a homestay booking service has claimed that other important regulations have been overlooked.
Unruly holiday rental guests and deceiving hosts now face bans for their bad behaviour, following the introduction of new laws regulating the short-term accommodation sector.
As of Friday, the NSW government’s Code of Conduct has placed new obligations on all owners and managers of short-term rental accommodation, as well as their guests.
These obligations include provisions to ensure good behaviour, minimise disturbances and implement the new strikes-based disciplinary regime.
According to Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson, the new code will stomp out bad apples by hanging a possible five-year ban over their heads under a “two strikes and you’re out” policy.
“If you are a house guest from hell behaving disgracefully in a holiday rental or a shady host trying to swindle an unsuspecting customer, under these changes you will face penalties,” Mr Anderson said.
But according to Stayz corporate affairs director Eacham Curry, while the new short-term rental code is a well-balanced set of rules for the holiday rental sector, it lacks a register of all listings that would guarantee compliance with the tough new rules.
“While the Code of Conduct is a well-crafted set of rules that will help address instances of bad behaviour, it lacks compulsory registration of all listings that would ensure compliance with the new rules,” Mr Curry said.
“The NSW government’s failure to deliver the other essential regulation for our growing industry is disappointing; however, Stayz will do its best to comply with its obligations under the new rules, and we urge all holiday home owners to do the same.”
According to Mr Curry, the new code should have been introduced in tandem with a regulation scheme for all listings and state-wide planning rules for holiday rentals.
“Only the full suite of reforms will give the government and industry the tools it requires to swiftly resolve complaints about anti-social behaviour, as well as paint a clearer picture of our industry to enable better informed policy on housing, tourism and government services.”
“Stayz consistently advocates for state-wide regulation that contains a simple registration scheme for all short-term rental listings, a code of conduct that is backed by a strikes-based disciplinary regime, and an industry body to adjudicate compliance with the code of conduct,” Mr Curry concluded.
The full Code of Conduct for the short-term rental accommodation industry can be found here.