Property Owners Urge Government Caution on Short-Term Rental Regulations


Property Owners Urge Government Caution on Short-Term Rental Regulations

May 27, 2024

The Australian and New Zealand Short-term Rental Association (ASTRA) recently made a compelling case to the NSW Parliament, urging the Minns Government to adopt a cautious and balanced approach to regulating the short-term rental accommodation (STRA) sector. This plea comes as potential new measures, including a tax on property owners and annual night caps on short-term rentals, are being considered for the upcoming NSW budget.

The Impact on ‘Mum and Dad’ Property Owners

ASTRA CEO Mitch Price highlighted that STRA constitutes only about 1 percent of Australia’s total housing stock. This challenges the perception that STRA significantly impacts housing affordability and supply issues.

“Our sector is proud to help create memorable holiday experiences for NSW families, but our contribution extends beyond tourism,” Price said. He emphasized the critical role STRA plays in providing necessary accommodation for people seeking medical treatment, families fleeing domestic violence, and transient workers such as those in construction who are essential in building new housing across the nation.

A Proposed Levy for a Broader Solution

ASTRA advocates for a 2 percent levy on all accommodation types, including hotels, motels, leisure parks, and STRA. The revenue from this levy should be allocated to address persistent social issues such as affordable housing, regional tourism, and the upskilling of young people in regional NSW.

The Risks of Over-Regulation

Price expressed concerns that imposing nightly caps would devastate many ‘Mum and Dad’ property owners who rely on this critical income as they approach retirement. Additionally, such measures could negatively impact NSW’s popular tourism destinations and their local economies.

Ensuring Safe and Compliant Accommodation

ASTRA believes in the importance of a safe and equitable STRA sector. They advocate for enhancements to the government registration portal for STRA properties and the existing code of practice. Furthermore, they propose the certification of owners and property management companies to ensure compliance with the Property and Stock Agents Act 2002.

A Call for Evidence-Based Regulation

ASTRA’s message to the Minns Government is clear: “A proportionate, evidence-based approach to regulating the STRA sector is critical.” They caution against following the example of New York City, where high taxes and misguided night caps have led to unsafe, uninsured black market accommodations, lost tax revenue, and skyrocketing hotel prices.

ASTRA’s advocacy highlights the need for thoughtful and balanced regulation that supports both property owners and the broader community, ensuring the continued success and safety of the STRA sector in New South Wales.