Strata property owners who rent out their homes or investments for short term holiday rentals had until Monday, November 1 to register their property with the NSW government or risk missing out on future income.
The new policy, which was first announced in April, requires owners of residential accommodation who rent out their property temporarily for commercial gain to register their property and pay an annual registration fee via the NSW Planning Portal.
Registration of a dwelling on the STRA Register will incur a non-refundable one-off registration fee of $65 for the initial 12 months and an ongoing annual renewal fee of $25.
All completed STRA registrations will then be issued with an STRA Property ID number (STRA-PID-XXXX), which must be displayed on online property listings.
The Short Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) framework was designed to complement changes – which included a mandatory Code of Conduct for the STRA Industry and amendments – to strata legislation introduced by NSW Fair Trading.
The principal objectives of the code were to set out the rights and obligations of short-term rental accommodation industry participants; provide for resolution of disputes and complaints about the conduct of guests and their hosts and to outline key compliance and enforcement practices.
The introduction of the new STRA registration rules, timed to coincide with the return of regional travel across the state, also forces holiday rental hosts to comply with fire safety standards.
These safety standards provide for the safety of guests and visitors, who might be less familiar with their location than residents of a dwelling and the availability of clear evacuation diagrams, fire alarms, extinguishers, and emergency contacts at the property.
Unlike the registration requirement, the government has given property owners until 1 March 2022 to ensure their dwelling complies with the new fire safety standards.
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said due to COVID-19 stay at home orders, some hosts had been unable to travel to their properties or secure tradespeople to ensure they are compliant with the fire safety standards.
As a result, the department had agreed to the four month grace period to allow owners to get up to speed with the fire safety element.
To date more than 12,000 properties had already been registered via the NSW Planning Portal and Stokes said he hoped all eligible strata owners would sign up in the next few days to ensure they didn’t miss out on the expected swell of visitors.
“With restrictions easing and summer on the horizon, our regions are set to boom with holidaymakers, and many of them will be staying in short-term rental accommodation.
“Registration is straightforward and enables a sector worth $30 billion annually to operate and thrive under a clear set of standards,” he said.
Stokes said the loosening of regional travel restrictions had been “a long time coming” and the department had given everyone an additional three months to get their properties up to scratch, to ensure they’re safe and ready to welcome guests.
“The new rules provide minimum standards for a previously unregulated industry, ensuring safety for renters, certainty and amenity for neighbours, and additional revenue for homeowners.”