Since 18th December 2020 the mandatory Code of Conduct for the Short-term Rental Accommodation Industry has come into force which includes standards to be followed by hosts, guests, letting agents and online booking platform operators.
What are the key points?
- NSW Fair Trading will keep a register of problematic holiday rental hosts and guests
- If three complaints are received, the host or guest can be banned for five years. On-the-spot fines of $550 can also be issued
How does the code affect guests?
- Must not make noise that unreasonably disrupts neighbours
- Must not cause damage to the premises, including any common property in a strata scheme
- Are responsible for the actions of visitors and must ensure they comply with the behaviour standards set out in the code
How does the code affect hosts?
- Must hold insurance that covers liability for third party injuries and death
- Must enable neighbours to contact them about concerns between 8am and 5pm each day
- Must take reasonable steps to ensure guests meet behaviour obligations in the code
- Must ensure the premises is not rented out to a guest who is recorded on the exclusion register
- Must register on the short-term rental accommodation premises register, which will commence in 2021
How does the code affect booking platforms and letting agents?
- Must tell hosts and guests who use your services about the code, how to lodge a complaint under the code, and about any code-related complaint relating to them that you know about.
- Must not advertise or facilitate the offering of accommodation if the host or premises are recorded on the exclusion register.
- Once the short-term rental accommodation premises register commences in 2021, can only advertise or facilitate the offering of premises that are registered
How do you make a complaint for a breach of the code?
You will be able to make a complaint with Fair Trading from 18 December 2020 if you believe that the code has been breached. In some situations, the Commissioner may request that the complaint first be made to another body, if this is appropriate, such as the police or local council.
The code does not change existing complaint handling processes for NSW Police and local councils. Contact your local council if you have an issue or complaint relating to fire safety (including overcrowding), planning approvals, parking or ongoing noise. You can contact the police for urgent noise issues.
What are potential penalties for breaching the code?
- warnings or directions to take or cease certain action
- a ‘strike’ against a host, host’s premises, or guest for serious breaches of the code
- recording a guest, host or host’s premises on the exclusion register. Two strikes in a two-year period will result in a listing on the exclusion register, which means the person or premises is prohibited from participating in the short-term rental accommodation industry for five years.
To view the complete Code of Conduct please visit