The state government will be enforcing a new Code of Conduct for hosts, guests, letting agents and online booking platforms in the short-term rental accommodation industry from December 18, 2020.

The mandatory code covers obligations, guidance, and minimum standards of behaviour that must be met by all parties.

Under the code, guests are not allowed to damage the premises or make noise that “unreasonably disrupts neighbours”. If these rules aren’t met, you could face warning notices, fines or being added to the exclusion register – where you’re banned from booking short-term rentals for five years. The exclusion register is introducing a ‘two strikes and you’re out’ policy for unruly guests.

Hosts on the other hand must have insurance that covers liability for third party injuries and death. Plus, neighbours must be able to contact hosts if there are any issues; being available between 8am and 5pm each day.

Hosts cannot rent out their premises to anyone on the exclusion register.

There is a short-term rental accommodation premises register being created, which is set to begin in 2021. Under the new laws, hosts must register themselves and their premises on it.

Booking platforms and agents must let hosts and guests know about the code.

Once the accommodation register is out, they can only advertise places on that list. They cannot advertise or facilitate accommodation to a host on the exclusion register.

More broadly, complaints can be made to NSW Fair Trading if there have been any breaches to the code, with Fair Trading having the power to ban problematic hosts or guests.

Find more information on Fair Trading’s website here.