EPMEPM: Best Practice & Legislation

New Code for Holiday Rentals

Successful Management for sustainable growth: Anton Stanish discusses how the new national guidelines aim to address issues between owners, holiday-makers, and the community.

In March this year the Stayz Group, working with industry operators and state government planning and tourism departments, championed the launch of a national Holiday Rental Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct provides a self-regulatory approach to holiday rental property management. The Code is a set of industry guidelines and practices that satisfy the needs of local communities, property owners and managers, tourism operators, local governments, neighbours and guests.

The Code of Conduct officially came into effect on 31 May, and asserts that holiday rental dwellings should be managed effectively in order to minimise any adverse social or environmental impacts.

Holiday rentals are a positive sustainable contributor to local tourism and communities, and the vast majority operate with no negative impact on the community. However there are inevitably some factors that need to be addressed with some properties – such as noise, overcrowding, garbage, and car parking. The Code of Conduct offers practical changes and guidelines to address these.

The short-term rental of houses and apartments to holidaymakers, business, and educational visitors makes an important contribution to local, state, and national economies. This new, self-regulatory Code acts as an effective and robust instrument for ensuring holiday rental properties provide a real benefit to the community, while also enabling this important part of the tourism industry to develop sustainably.

Property owners and managers have been very supportive in the months since we launched the Code of Conduct and we appreciate the strong adoption and early cooperation. To that point it is important to realise that it is a working document which will evolve based on stakeholder feedback, so we invite property owners and managers to provide comments on what works well and what can be improved. Local councils, tourism organisations and other related bodies interested in becoming participating organisations adhering to the Holiday Rental Code of Conduct are invited to contact us at support@stayz.com.au.

Why has the Stayz Group championed a national Holiday Rental Code of Conduct?
The Stayz Group is committed to continued and sustained improvement in the holiday rental industry using the self-regulation system, and is taking steps to ensure the continued enhancement of standards and practice on a national level. We also have a responsibility to local communities to ensure that holiday-makers can have a great time without negatively imposing on the community, in order for the industry to continue and flourish.

Will the Holiday Rental Code of Conduct be recognised by other bodies?
The Holiday Rental Code of Conduct industry group comprises the Real Estate Institute of NSW(REINSW); Holiday Letting Organisation Central Coast (HLO Central Coast); Holiday Letting Organisation Byron Bay (HLO Byron) and Stayz Pty Ltd (owned and operated by Fairfax, including rentahome.com.au and TakeABreak). The NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure, Destination NSW and the Local Government Shires Association NSW were closely consulted.

Stayz has industry Best Practice Guidelines; how is the Holiday Rental Code of Conduct different?
The Holiday Rental Code of Conduct has been developed to provide a national self-regulatory approach to the management of holiday rentals supported by other industry and government bodies. This self-regulatory approach has been found to be successful in managing residential amenity impacts associated with holiday rental. The Best Practice Guidelines are now reflected in the Code of Conduct.

In comparison to the Guidelines, the Code of Conduct is available for widespread adoption and becomes mandatory for members of participating organisations. The introduction of house rules means the Code of Conduct is more specific about property management and guest behaviour. It carries sanctions for wrongdoing, and a Code Administration Committee oversees the enforcement, review processes, and the annual reporting to stakeholders.

What is The Stayz Group doing to educate guests?
The Stayz Group has produced a set of Terms and Conditions based on the provisions set out within the Code of Conduct. These Terms and Conditions outline fundamental obligations of the rental agreement that property managers need to convey to guests (either in the Occupancy Agreement or otherwise) so they become part of the contract between owners and guests. We have also developed Stayz Group House Rules, a one-page overview outlining acceptable Guest behaviour, which must be displayed in a visible place within the rental property.

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