Money The NSW government is coming down hard on Airbnb

15:10  05 june  2018
15:10  05 june  2018 Source:   businessinsider.com.au

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Last month, the NSW government was forced to pull its plans to regulate Airbnb after Premier Gladys Berejiklian and the Cabinet failed to gain backbench support for the reforms.

New laws being called the ‘world’s toughest’ will limit the time people can rent out their properties to 180 days.

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The NSW government is coming down hard on Airbnb.

As part of a number of changes set to be introduced by the state government, the length of time a Sydney property can be rented for via Airbnb will be restricted to 180 nights a year.

Councils outside Greater Sydney will be able to decide whether or not to abide by this limit.

Along with the changes, strata corporations will be given the power to ban Airbnb letting in their buildings with a 75% majority vote.

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New restrictions will be placed on accommodation-sharing platform Airbnb in NSW . The proposal, announced by the NSW government on Tuesday, specifically targets vacant and investment properties using services such as Airbnb .

It also comes as the government last week backed down from its medium-density housing policy, and suspended the housing code in the City of Ryde and the City of Canterbury Airbnb country manager Sam McDonagh said "the time had certainly come for the NSW government to make a decision".

The reforms follow a rise of Airbnb listings across Australia, and the potential high returns from casual letting, which some argue has put pressure on the property market.

Online booking platforms like Airbnb are estimated to contribute $31 billion annually to the Australian economy.

The reforms also include a new mandatory Code of Conduct which will address impacts like noise levels, disruptive guests and effects on shared neighbourhood amenities.

a bridge over a body of water with a city in the background: A listing in Sydney. © Airbnb A listing in Sydney.

Under a new two-strike policy, hosts or guests who commit two serious breaches of the code within two years will be banned for five years and listed on an exclusion register.

“These are the toughest laws in the country and will make sure residents are protected while ensuring that hosts who do the right thing are not penalised,” Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said.

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The NSW Government unveils proposed new rules to govern short-stay accommodation in the state, including a cap on the amount of days hosts can rent out their home, and not allowing some investors to rent out their apartments.

The NSW government is considering options for cracking down on the poor behaviour of Airbnb guests when it affects others in the building. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo.

Under the new Code will be a new dispute resolution process to resolve complaints, and NSW Fair Trading will have power to police online platforms and letting agents.

Last month, the NSW government was forced to pull its plans to regulate Airbnb after Premier Gladys Berejiklian and the Cabinet failed to gain backbench support for the reforms.

The dispute at the time was over the cap on the number of days a property can be rented out annually.

An Options Paper on short–term holiday letting in NSW was originally released in July last year for public feedback.

To get an idea of how big of a problem this has been for the state government, here's a breakdown on how big Airbnb was in 2016.

According to Deloitte’s Developments in the Collaborative Economy in NSW report, the number of properties listed in the state more than doubled in 12 months to 38,000 properties from 16,200 in 2015 -- that's more than half the total Australian market.

Sydney listings alone have doubled annually over the last five years to more than 15,600 in January 2016.

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