Media release - Local government has a key role to play in short-term holiday letting decision

6 June 2018

The peak body for NSW’s 128 councils has welcomed the decision to give local government a role in the management of home sharing outside Greater Sydney.

The NSW Government announced short-term holiday letting in rural and regional NSW will be automatically capped at 365 days, and councils given the power to reduce the cap if needed for their community. In Sydney, a blanket maximum 180-day cap would apply.

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Linda Scott said the Government was seeking to deliver a careful balance between the local economic benefits of short-term holiday letting and the protection of long-term residents.

“Obviously one size does not fit all when it comes to different regions,” Clr Scott said.

“The impact of home sharing differs across NSW, from central business districts through regional and rural cities and towns, and coastal locations.

“LGNSW has consistently argued that individual councils are best placed to determine the caps that would best balance economic development via short-term accommodation with rental affordability and public amenity for residents.

“This information should be readily available and clear to potential hosts so they can make their business and investment decisions accordingly.”

LGNSW also welcomed the government decision to give body corporates the power to restrict short-term holiday letting in strata title units, given the challenges these residents face.

Clr Scott said an overall NSW Government framework that included monitoring, complaint-handling and the provision for meaningful penalties would deliver the best result.

And she called for ongoing research to monitor the local impact of short-term holiday letting and consideration of a centralised register of short-term letting hosts. 

“It is critical that there be ongoing State Government funding for research to monitor the local impact of home sharing so we are all working from an evidence base,” she said.

A number of councils had raised concerns about the impact of home-sharing on housing affordability, with investors driving up home prices beyond the reach of owner-buyers, and reduced rental stock.

“Other world cities such as London, New York and San Francisco have expressed similar concerns, while a 2017 University of Sydney study suggested up to 6,000 homes had been taken out of Sydney’s permanent rental housing market by home-sharing services such as AirBnB,” Clr Scott said.

“The NSW Government has put housing affordability at the centre of policy development in NSW, so it is important that this is not undermined.

“I believe the Government has delivered a good balance today, but it’s important we get it right for the long-term.

“For that reason the local government sector urges the State Government to fund ongoing research, allowing NSW to continue to find the right balance for many years to come.”  


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