The NSW government is coming down hard on Airbnb

Airbnb/ SuppliedA listing in Sydney.

  • Airbnb properties in Sydney will be capped at 180 rental days each year.
  • A mandatory Code of Conduct will be enforced along with a two-strike policy for those who breach the conditions.
  • NSW Fair Trading will have power to police online platforms and letting agents.

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 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.

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.

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, which represents more than half the total Australian market.

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

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

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.

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.

NOW READ: Why Airbnb poses a possible threat to rental affordability in Australia

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