A mandatory Code of Conduct for the Short-term Rental Accommodation Industry will apply from 18 December 2020.

Guest obligations

  • You must not make noise that unreasonably disrupts your neighbours
  • You must not cause damage to the premises, including any common property in a strata scheme or  community scheme
  • You are responsible for the actions of your visitors and must ensure they comply with the behaviour standards set out in the code.

If you don’t meet your obligations under the code, you could face penalties such as warning notices, fines or being added to the exclusion register. A person who is listed on the exclusion register is prohibited from participating in the short-term rental accommodation industry for five years.

Host obligations

  • You must hold insurance that covers your liability for third party injuries and death
  • You must enable your neighbours to contact you, or your authorised representatives, about concerns relating to your premises by giving them your contact details and being available between 8am and 5pm each day
  • You must take reasonable steps to ensure your guests meet their behaviour obligations in the code, including by making them aware that the code applies to their stay and providing a copy of the code
  • You must ensure you do not rent out your premises to a guest who is recorded on the exclusion register
  • A short-term rental accommodation premises register is currently being developed and is expected to commence in 2021. Once this commences, you must register yourself and your premises on the short-term rental accommodation premises register.

Potential penalties for breaching the code

  • Warnings or directions to take or cease certain action
  • Fines
  • A ‘strike’ against a host, host’s premises, or guest for serious breaches of the code
  • Recording a guest, host or host’s premises on the exclusion register. Two strikes in a two-year period will result in a listing on the exclusion register, which means the person or premises is prohibited from participating in the short-term rental accommodation industry for five years.

You will be able to make a complaint with Fair Trading from 18 December if you believe that the code has been breached.

A short-term rental accommodation premises register is currently under development for commencement in mid-2021. Hosts will be required to register their premises.

Gareth Ward commented that a key feature of the new laws was the establishment of an exclusion register, which will introduce a ‘two strikes and you’re out’ policy for unruly guests.

“We have all heard the horror stories of hosts doing the wrong thing or the house guests from hell behaving disgracefully in holiday rentals,” he said.

“If you are going to carry on like that in someone else’s house or neighbourhood, be warned – under these new rules you will be banned, and for a very long time.”