NSW caps Byron Bay short-term rentals at 60 days

In accordance with recommendations made by the state’s independent planning tribunal, the New South Wales government has given the Byron shire council permission to impose a limit on the number of days that a rental property can be used for short-term stays of up to sixty days.

In an effort to alleviate the severe housing shortage that exists in the region, the Shire of Byron Shire on the north coast of New South Wales will implement new regulations that will place restrictions on the availability of short-term rental properties in certain areas, including Mullumbimby.

After a review earlier this year by the Independent Planning Commission that suggested a 60-day cap, the government of New South Wales (NSW) stated on Tuesday that it has backed a proposal from the Byron shire council to adopt the restrictions. The review came after the IPC made its recommendation.

Because doing so “at this time” would have “broader implications” for the whole short-term rental network across the state, the administration has decided not to execute all of the recommendations that were given down by the planning tribunal in April. These recommendations were delivered in April.

The present maximum of 180 days that can be spent in a short-term rental property in the shire of Byron will be reduced to a maximum of 60 days over the course of a year.

The council has determined that some precincts in Byron Bay and Brunswick Heads, which are located near beaches and facilities, have “high tourism appeal.” These precincts will not have the cap enforced, which will allow properties in those areas to be utilised as short-term lodging during the whole year.

This decision will not have any bearing on hosted short-term rentals, which are those in which the host lives on the property during the guest’s stay and which will continue to be eligible for rental for the full year.

Before the new rules are enacted on September 26, 2018, the government has announced that there will be a transition period of twelve months during which the community and the sector will have the opportunity to get ready for the changes.

The Department of Planning and Environment will keep an eye on the efforts made by the Byron Shire Council to meet its pledge to enhance the number of homes available for purchase.

In a statement that was released on Tuesday, Minister of Planning Paul Scully made the announcement of the adjustment. In it, he acknowledged that the availability of short-term rental housing was a “complex matter” in the Byron shire, but he stated that the 60-day cap would encourage more landlords to lease their properties as long-term rentals.

During his speech on Tuesday in Lismore, Scully explained that he had agreed to let Byron shire implement the cap because the county had convinced him that it was “serious” about reforming its own planning approvals processes in order to provide “about 5,800 homes” over the course of the “coming years.”

“The Byron circumstance calls for a one-of-a-kind and confidential planned proposal. “What I’m saying is that this is not a change in policy on the part of the New South Wales government with regard to short-term rentals in general,” he explained.

Premier Chris Minns stated that the government would be “watching closely” to ensure that Byron shire met its housing promises. Byron shire is responsible for providing housing for its residents.

“The proof is going to be in the pudding,” Minns remarked. “The proof is going to be in the pudding.”

It is unacceptable to impose restrictions on Airbnb in Byron and then fail to uphold your end of the agreement.

For a response on this matter, the Byron shire council as well as the mayor, Michael Lyon, have been approached.

Later on in this year, the planning department of the state will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of short-term rental accommodations, which will include an examination of the other recommendations that were made by the Independent Planning Commission.

As part of this study, the government has indicated that it is open to the idea of following Victoria’s example and imposing a levy of 7.5% on short-stay accommodations such as Airbnb and Stayz in order to contribute to the funding of affordable housing.

The industry that deals in rentals for shorter periods of time is opposed to further limitations being placed on vacation homes.

According to Eacham Curry, a senior director of Stayz, the implementation of the 60-day cap in the Byron shire would not result in an increase in the number of residences available for long-term renting.

“It will only limit the accommodation options for tourists and the income for mum and dad retirees,” he said.

In May, there were 45,209 short-term rentals registered in New South Wales, which represents an increase of 13,000 from the previous month’s total.

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