NSW EDGES CLOSER TO ‘GREEN LIGHT’ FOR ILLEGAL SHORT-TERM RENTAL OPERATORS


Yesterday, Diana Holy, Director | Policy & Strategy, Better Regulation Division | Department of Customer Service, NSW Government, emailed the following message:


Commencement of Short-term Rental Accommodation Industry Code of Conduct and supporting regulation – Friday 18 December


As advised previously, a Government-run premises register is being developed by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and is scheduled to commence in mid-2021 alongside the new planning instruments. Further inquiries about the development of the premises register and the planning instruments can be directed to DPIE.

The code establishes an exclusion register where guests, hosts or hosts’ premises will be listed if two strikes are recorded against them in two years. It is intended that the exclusion register will be linked with the premises register once the latter register has been developed by DPIE.

Until the commencement of the publicly available exclusion register, Fair Trading will not penalise hosts, booking platforms and letting agents for entering into or facilitating short-term rental accommodation arrangements with people listed on the exclusion register. This is because these obligations require access to a public exclusion register.

Fair Trading will, however, enforce obligations on hosts and guests to not enter into short term rental arrangements if they themselves or their premises are listed on the exclusion register. Hosts and guests will be notified if they are listed on the exclusion register held by Fair Trading, although this will not be publicly available until mid-2021.

The code does not replace existing complaint handling processes and the enforcement of planning laws remains with local councils. However, an option of issuing a strike for deliberate and persistent breaches of these laws is available at the discretion of the Commissioner for Fair Trading.

To help make NSW Fair Trading’s enforcement intentions clear it has issued a Statement of Regulatory Intent.

General information on the code and how it will be operating has also been made available on the Fair Trading website. From tomorrow, a link will be available to enable complaints to be lodged through the Fair Trading website."


Noted, in the ‘Statement of Regulatory Intent’:


“The code requires hosts and guests to comply with planning laws.

The enforcement of planning laws will remain with local councils.”


NSW Government Staff appear to have ignored a long line of NSW Land and Environment Court jurisdiction and case law judgments. Also ignored, NSW Supreme Court case law, that leaves those lodging complaints subject to counter complaints of ‘nuisance’.


NSW Government Staff also appear to have ignored advice from one prominent NSW Senior Counsel specialising in planning, environmental and local government law, building and construction and negligence of statutory authorities, who wrote to the Minister for Fair Trading a propos any plan to retrospectively override, without financial compensation, the proprietary rights of those who have purchased residential dwellings.


NSW Government Staff also appear to have ignored advice from Christopher Brown, former Managing Director of Tourism & Transport Forum:


“We will continue to investigate how councils could be mandated to enforce residential planning, zoning or approval to prevent unauthorised short-term commercial letting…The proliferation of illegal serviced apartments is a huge problem for legitimate tourism accommodation providers, and there remains insufficient scrutiny of this damaging practice.”


NSW Government Staff also appear ready to ignore directions from State Coronial Inquiries and NSW Fire & Rescue.


And the list goes on.


NSW Government Staff, in our opinion, appear to hold in contempt the rights of NSW Residents; our residential Title Deeds and our right to live in a residential community.


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