Understanding STRA (Short-Term Rental Accommodation) Requirements in New South Wales, Australia

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The rise of the sharing economy and online platforms has transformed the way we travel and seek accommodation. Short-Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) has become an increasingly popular option for travelers and property owners alike. In Australia, the New South Wales (NSW) government has recognized the significance of this sector and has implemented specific requirements to regulate STRA. These regulations are designed to strike a balance between the economic benefits of STRA and the protection of residential communities. To better understand STRA requirements in NSW, we will explore the guidelines provided on the official Planning Portal.

What is STRA?

Short-term rental accommodation (STRA) is accommodation in residential homes that is made available to others on a commercial basis for a temporary or short-term period. STRA is often facilitated through online booking platforms such as Stayz, Airbnb or Booking.com. These accommodations have become an alternative to traditional hotels and can offer unique and diverse lodging experiences.

What kind of dwellings count as STRA?

STRA can be undertaken in lawfully constructed dwellings used for the purpose of residential accommodation in all land use zones in which dwellings are currently permissible.
Typical residential accommodation dwelling types include:

  • a dwelling house (e.g. a detached house), an attached dwelling, or a semi-detached dwelling
  • a dual occupancy
  • multi dwelling housing
  • a residential flat (e.g. a unit in a block of flats)
  • a secondary dwelling (e.g. a granny flat)
  • shop top housing.

What about other types of tourist accommodation?

The STRA planning framework does not apply to tourist and visitor accommodation land uses. Development approved tourist and visitor accommodation uses, such as serviced apartments, bed and breakfasts, eco-tourist facilities, hotels, motels, resorts, camping grounds or caravan parks, are not required to register for STRA.

What are the types of STRA?

The planning framework introduced additional terms for ‘hosted’ and ‘non-hosted’ STRA:

  • Hosted STRA means that the host lives on the premises during the period of the accommodation provided.
  • Non-hosted STRA means that the accommodation can be carried out without the host residing on the premises

What are the day limits?

Hosted STRA is not restricted by any day limits and can be carried out 365 days per year. In some NSW local government areas (LGAs), there are limits on the number of days that a dwelling can be used for non-hosted STRA.

Non-hosted STRA is restricted to a maximum of 180 days per 12 month annual period in the following areas:

  • the Greater Sydney region (not including the Central Coast)
  • the Ballina area
  • the Byron area
  • certain land in the Clarence Valley area, and
  • certain land in the Muswellbrook area

LGAs within the Greater Sydney region that are restricted to a maximum of 180 days per annual period: Bayside, City of Ryde, Ku-ring-gai, Sutherland, Blacktown, City of Sydney, Lane Cove, The Hills, Blue Mountains, Cumberland, Liverpool, Waverley, Burwood, Fairfield, Mosman, Willoughby, Camden, Georges River, North Sydney, Wollondilly, Campbelltown, Hawkesbury, Northern Beaches, Woollahra, Canterbury-Bankstown, Hornsby, Penrith, City of Canada Bay, Hunters Hill, Randwick, City of Parramatta, Inner West, Strathfield.

In all other LGAs, non-hosted STRA may take place 365 days a year.

Is there an exception to the day limits?
For non-hosted STRA, where the booking is for 21 or more consecutive days, the booking will not count towards the day limits. This supports mobile workforces and the corporate accommodation sector which tend to have
longer stays and lower amenity impacts. However, these dwellings must still be registered and comply with any other relevant STRA provisions, including the fire safety standards.

Under tenancy legislation, a STRA booking cannot last more than 3 months. For more information, visit NSW Fair Trading.

How can I register and how much does it cost?

The STRA Register is available on the NSW Government’s NSW Planning Portal. You will need to create a NSW Planning Portal account or log-in with your Service NSW account.

When registering, you will need to confirm that the dwelling meets the fire safety standards. There is a non-refundable one-off registration fee of $65 for the initial 12 months and an ongoing annual renewal fee of $25.

Short-Term Rental Accommodation has undoubtedly transformed the way we travel, offering a wide array of options for both travelers and property owners. However, with this new landscape comes the need for careful regulation to maintain harmony between commercial activities and residential communities. The STRA requirements implemented by the NSW government aim to strike that balance, promoting responsible STRA operations while safeguarding the well-being of neighborhoods. Hosts and guests alike should familiarize themselves with these regulations to ensure a positive and sustainable STRA experience in New South Wales.

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