The mandatory Code of Conduct for short-term rental accommodation has been finalised and will apply from 18 December 2020. You can view the Code here.

Host obligations

If you are a host, the obligations imposed on you by the Code include:

  • You must hold insurance for third party injuries and death.
  • You must be contactable between 8am to 5pm daily to manage guests, premises and deal with complaints, and be contactable outside these times to deal with emergencies.
  • You must provide a copy of the Code and any by-laws to guests.
  • You must take reasonable steps to ensure guests meet their behaviour obligations in the Code.
  • You must ensure that you and your premises are registered on the premises register from 1 June 2021 onwards.
  • You must ensure you do not rent out your premises to a guest who is recorded on the exclusion register.

Guest obligations

If you are a guest, the obligations imposed on you by the Code include:

  • You must not make noise or use the premises in a way that will unreasonably interfere with the peace and comfort of other occupants of the premises.
  • You must not damage the premises including any common property or association property.
  • You must not act in a violent or threatening manner towards other occupants of the premises.
  • You must take reasonable care of the host’s premises and property.
  • You are responsible for the actions of your visitors and must ensure they comply with the behaviour standards set out in the Code.

Booking platform and letting agent obligations

Booking platforms and letting agents are required to tell industry participants about the Code and make a copy of the Code readily available. From 1 June 2021 onwards, short term accommodation can only be advertised by booking platforms and letting agents if the host and premises are registered on the premises register. A host of premises recorded on the exclusion register must not be advertised for short term accommodation.

Penalties for breaching the code

Complaints can be made to the Commissioner for Fair Trading for breaches of the Code. If a breach is found, the Commissioner may issue a warning notice, issue a direction to an industry participant to act or stop acting in a certain manner, record a strike against a host or guest, or record a host or guest on the exclusion register. A host or guest who has had two strikes in a two year period will be entered onto the exclusion register for five years. This means that these hosts and guests will not be able to enter into short term accommodation arrangements for five years.

Changes will also be made to planning laws in mid-2021, including the introduction of new policies.

Owners Corporations should seek legal advice to ensure their short term accommodation by-laws comply with the Code.

Authors: Jasmin H. Singh and Allison Benson