Randwick property owners could be limited on listing their homes for short-term rental

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Randwick property owners could be limited on listing their homes on short-term letting apps for only 90 days per year, in a move housing experts say could free up more properties for long-term renters. The Department of Planning has given councils the green light to apply for three-month annual caps on the number of days homes can be booked through platforms such as Airbnb, after initially setting 180-day limits in proposed reforms last year.

Randwick Council planners on Monday were considering whether to make a case to the department. This comes after the council last year advocated for 90-day caps when a host is not home.Byron Shire Council was the first to be granted a special exemption by Planning Minister Anthony Roberts last week to have a 90-day limit, amid concerns streets had more homes for tourists than permanent residents.

Figures released by Airbnb showed Randwick ranked the third highest NSW council for homes listed on the app last year with 3493 properties advertised, up 49 per cent from 2016. Research into the impacts of short-term lettings in Sydney, however, recommend localised regulation.  The research also found high numbers of listings clustered in Sydney’s east was likely leading to greater uncertainty for renters.

The NSW Government has introduced new regulatory framework to govern the short-term holiday letting industry. Short-term holiday letting has rapidly expanded in recent years due to the growth of online booking services. The new code of conduct will apply to online accommodation platforms, letting agents, hosts and guests. New planning laws will allow short-term holiday letting under certain conditions. If the host is present, they can use their home for short-term holiday letting all year round as exempt development. That is, they do not need to submit a development application to local council.

If the host is not present, that residence can be used for short-term holiday letting up to 180 days per year in Greater Sydney, with 365 days allowed in all other areas of New South Wales. Councils outside Greater Sydney will have the power to decrease the 365 day limit to no less than 180 days per year. What is important to understand is that it is 180 booked nights, which equates to roughly 240 nights at a usual occupancy rate. Also if you are a homeowner that is present on the property then part of the house (one room or more) can be rented 365 days a year with no restrictions