Short-term accommodation hosts scramble to register homes before the November 1 deadline

People who rent out their short-term properties on platforms like Airbnb and Stayz scramble to register their homes with the NSW government before the November 1 legal deadline – the same day the state goes. opens to travelers.

In what should have been a financial boon to many, a number are now rushing to try and register on time, before being kicked from corporate websites in what is likely to be a massive upheaval in the world. short term rental. Marlet.

Of around 70,000 properties available for vacation rentals in New South Wales, only 22,272 had been registered as of Wednesday, October 27, although this was almost double the figure from the previous week.

The Ministry of Planning, Industry and Environment announced the new rules in April – which included mandatory registration, a new code of conduct, and 180-night caps for stays in parts of the State – but, due to industry pressure, the date has been extended for three months. But now the day of reckoning has arrived.

All hosts must register their home with the NSW government by November 1. Photo: iStock

“We developed the registry in consultation with key stakeholders, so they know the system and know what to expect,” a ministry spokesperson said.

“Anyone wishing to rent their property for short-term accommodation is required to register.

“From November 1, properties that are not registered cannot be rented for short-term accommodation. The department will work with NSW Fair Trading – Department of Customer Service, Consulting and Industry to ensure properties are registered and hosts comply with the new rules.

When a registry was introduced in Japan a few years ago, registrations fell by 60%, which was believed to have been caused by people dropping out after renting properties illegally or anonymously to evade tax.

At Airbnb, however, Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Susan Wheeldon, said more Airbnb hosts, excited about the imminent return of international, regional and interstate travel, will check in in the final days. .

“Having worked closely with hosts to help them understand and meet their obligations, we know they have praised the clarity and certainty these new rules have brought to support their hosting business,” he said. she declared.

“To date, the majority of active Airbnb listings in NSW have registered or requested exemptions and the majority of listings that have not yet completed the registration process by October 26 have not hosted an invited over the past year. As borders open and intrastate travel restrictions are lifted, we expect more hosts to complete the process. “

Apartment building
Some hosts find it difficult to get their questions answered before registering their homes. Photo: Stocksy

Currently, on Airbnb’s website alone, over 36,000 properties are listed for Greater Sydney and Byron Bay alone.

Australian Short Term Rental Association President Rob Jeffress estimates that there are 155,000 private holiday homes available nationwide, of which around 70,000 are in New South Wales and 50,000 in Victoria.

“There isn’t anyone around who doesn’t feel like going out, traveling and taking a break,” he said. “There has been a huge demand for vacation rentals statewide. “

But at Stayz, general affairs manager Eacham Curry said the company supports the new measures for the time being, while the registration process has been available for some time, many people still have questions that officials have to answer. did not respond.

“Not all the details are available and people cannot get answers,” he said.

“While the registry is managed by the Planning Department, there aren’t enough people in the Customer Service Department to deal with the flood of questions or who have the knowledge to answer them.

A drop in short-stay registrations is expected by many after November 1. Photo: Stocksy

“But if they don’t register, we as a platform are legally obligated not to allow them to operate, and that’s still a significant number that can’t get enough information. People from November 1 want to go out and travel and we don’t want it to be cruel. “

At the same time, the registration process is crucial, housing experts say, to ensure that some regulation applies to a rental industry that has grown rapidly from scratch, with few rules. in place.

“You don’t want to cancel their operation, but we’re saying make sure there are regulations in there,” said John Engeler, managing director of Shelter NSW.

“We need to establish a clear line with business operations and verify fire safety and garbage removal.”

The OCN, the supreme body of apartment owners, fears that some apartment owners and renters will try to register in defiance of their building regulations which prohibit the operation.

“If the industry is to be seen as a true industry with a social license, operators need to market themselves and allow planners, local councils and the state government to have good data to ensure that they are working well, ”said spokeswoman Jane Hearn. .

“But we expect a significant drop in registrations as part of the registration process is to clean up the industry and present a realistic picture of what’s going on.”

All registered short-term rental homes have until March 1 of next year to comply with the next set of regulations: fire and safety requirements, such as clear evacuation patterns, fire alarms, extinguishers and emergency contacts.

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