Platforms such as Airbnb have been successfully connecting guests and hosts for several years now, but to date there’s been little to no regulation to manage the effects of the short term stay market. The New South Wales Government will be bringing in significant legislation changes in 2019, so let’s take a closer look at the new industry Code of Conduct that will increase the responsibility of providers, hosts and guests.
A Code of Conduct for all
While the new regulatory framework includes several new measures, the new industry Code of Conduct will apply to everyone that takes part in the short term accommodation market: from the guest through to the online letting platform.
Complaints will be heard
Anyone who has experienced damage or disruption from a neighbouring Airbnb stay will be happy to hear this news; residents and those in strata management will soon be able to make official complaints about short term stays that may be affecting their shared strata property. The complainant and the respondent will both have the chance to put forward their case before the issue is impartially and independently assessed by an adjudicator who has been approved by the Commissioner for Fair Trading. If a host or guest is found to have demonstrated behaviour which unreasonably interferes with a neighbour’s quiet and peaceful enjoyment of their home, they could well have a strike recorded against their name.
Two strikes and you’re out
If a host or a guest is formally found to have made two serious breaches of the Code of Conduct within five years, then they can be banned from using short term stay platforms and letting agents for five years. Their name will be placed on an online exclusion register, which platforms and letting agents will need to check prior to taking a new customer on. If the platform or letting agent fails to check this, they could face serious fines of up to $1.1 million for corporations and $220,000 for individuals.
Greater control to Fair Trading
Under the new Code, short stay letting agents and providers such as Airbnb will be required to provide relevant data to the state government to assist in its decision-making procedures. The Department of Fair Trading will be granted greater control over the policing of online platforms and letting agents.
The new legislation is expected to apply from 2019. You can read up on the new rules, including the NSW strata laws on potential bans of short term stays, in our eBook How Australia’s New Subletting Legislation Will Affect Airbnb.