An industry-developed Code of Conduct has been introduced for NSW-based holiday rental properties in an attempt to remove the need for government regulation of the sector.
Justin Butterworth, Stayz group business development director, oversaw the development of their guidelines into a Holiday Rental Code of Conduct.
“The Code builds on the best practice guidelines that we had in practice for about 18 months,” Mr Butterworth told Real Estate Business. “From Stayz, we saw the need and importance of giving the industry a foundation for sustainable growth, and that meant taking into account the impact on local communities.”
Mr Butterworth admitted that the government would be looking to regulate the growing industry, although he was confident a trial of the Code could help stop this from happening.
“What the industry is doing, is stepping forward to say, ‘Here’s a Code of Conduct. Give us two years to trial it, with a review after the first 12 months.’”
The parties involved in the Code of Conduct include Stayz, Takeabreak, Rentahome, the Holiday Letting Organisation and the Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW), along with a number of councils and government agencies including the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure and Destination NSW.
The difference between the guidelines and the Code is that it is mandatory for all parties to abide by its terms and conditions.
“The Code of Conduct gives very practical guidance to operators of holiday rental properties. It lays out best practices, elements that should be contained within the terms and conditions and provides a framework for house-rules that is to be displayed within the property.”
The need for a Code rose from the growing number of holiday rental properties.
“We’ve seen huge numbers of growth and development of the industry,” he said. “And naturally, we’ve seen councils and communities raise concerns relating to noise, garbage and parking. And while they are very few in comparison to the number of visitors and properties, it’s important for us to acknowledge them.”
Mr Butterworth identified some key problem areas in NSW included Byron Bay, Gosford, Manly and Bondi.
The REINSW said the Code will strengthen the important holiday letting sector for agents and property owners.
“By encouraging and promoting responsible and effective self regulation, we are assisting the holiday letting sector to grow sustainably and continue to deliver real benefits to the community and economy,” said REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin.
The Code will be effective from 31 May, 2012.