Greens Announce Plan to Regulate Short Term Holiday Letting

Australian Greens

Tamara Smith, Greens member for Ballina and Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP and planning spokesperson, today announced the Greens NSW plan to regulate Short Term Holiday Letting (STHL), stating that the practice had gone ‘virtually unregulated’ for far too long and that emergency measures had to be taken to reduce the impact of STHLs on the rental crisis.

The Greens NSW plan to regulate non-hosted Short Term Holiday Letting will:

  • Stop non-hosted short-term letting of houses built after 1 January 2018 in an LGA until the vacancy rate hits 3%
  • Require development applications for houses to be used non-hosted for short-term holiday letting, as required for other businesses
  • Give local councils planning powers to decide when and where Short Term Holiday Letting can operate in their LGA
  • Allow councils to place a bed tax on Short Term Holiday Letting to fund local services.
  • Require non-hosted Short Term Holiday Rentals to be used as emergency accommodation during a natural disaster.

As stated by Tamara Smith, Greens member for Ballina:

“Our region has been the belly of the beast for the disastrous impacts of Short Term Holiday Letting but now it’s adding fuel to the rental crisis across the entire state.

“In 2019 we received a commitment from the Berejiklian Government to cap STHL in Byron. At that time the Northern Rivers had a shortage of 15,000 social and affordable homes. Now it is far worse and nothing has changed.

“STHL has removed thousands of homes across the Northern Rivers from the rental market, leaving residents homeless, workers unable to afford accommodation, and people who have grown up here forced out of the region altogether. Something has to change, Tamara said.

“We need homes, not Short Term Holiday Letting.

“STHL is a business and it’s time to treat it like a business. This policy would end STHLs dominance over communities across NSW. By giving regulatory powers to councils, each community can deal with the impacts of STHL in the way that best works for them.

“Our communities must be put before tourists, especially during natural disasters.

“I’ll be introducing legislation to implement our plan to regulate Short Term Holiday Letting within the first 100 days of the next Parliament. I’m calling on Chris Minns and Dominic Perrottet to commit to supporting it and stop STHL adding fuel to the fire of the housing crisis,” Tamara Smith said.

As stated by Cate Faehrmann, NSW Greens MP, planning spokesperson and lead upper house candidate:

“Short Term Holiday Letting has gone virtually unregulated for far too long. It shouldn’t be this easy to run what is essentially a business out of a residential home, particularly in the middle of a rental crisis,” Cate Faehrmann said.

“If the Government claims it will solve this housing crisis by building new houses then it needs to make sure those houses become homes and not holiday rentals. Freeing up new housing for rentals instead of Short Term Holiday Letting will help take some of the heat out of the rental crisis.

“Every town faces different housing challenges. Our plan will empower local councils to regulate Short Term Holiday Letting to best serve the needs of their local community and decide when, where and how much they are allowed to operate.

“Short Term Holiday Letting makes big profits off the backs of communities while giving little in return. Giving councils the ability to set a bed tax on Short Term Holiday Letting will allow councils in high tourism areas like Byron Bay the ability to maintain their local services and invest in local housing,” Cate Faehrmann said.

/Public Release. View in full here.