Short-term Holiday Let Reforms: Public Submissions

The State Governments Short-Term Holiday Let reforms are on public exhibition until the 16th of November. 

We have prepared a template that you can submit through our website, you can also make a submission online or write to:

Director, Housing Policy
Department of Planning and Environment
GPO Box 39 Sydney NSW 2001

What is planned

The Government proposes to define ‘short term rental accommodation’ in all local environmental plans (LEPs) across NSW and make the following planning approval changes:

  1. When the host is present, short term rental accommodation will be permitted as exempt development that does not require a development application year round (365 days).  
  2. When the host is not present, short term rental accommodation will be permitted as exempt development that does not require a development application:   
    1. for up to 180 days per year in Greater Sydney
    2. year round (365 days) outside Greater Sydney (this can be reduced to 180 days on application from council).  
  3. When the host is not present, short term rental accommodation will require complying development approval if it is on bush fire prone land.


  • Proposed definition of STRA is vague, will overlap with other land uses, create uncertainty with local government enforcement, and may lead to legal challenges. It is proposed to be:
    • “the commercial use of an existing dwelling, either wholly or partially, for the purposes of short-term accommodation, but does not include tourist and visitor accommodation.”
  • The proposed reforms are not accompanied by any increased resources for enforcement and compliance for local government.
  • Councils are required to lodge expressions of interest within 8 weeks of this SEPP being exhibited if they want to reduce the number of days short-term rental accommodation is permitted without consent.
  • Similarly to when the Bill was debated, the proposed SEPP:
    • Ignore local issues and override current planning controls that restrict short term rental accommodation
    • Takes planning out of the hands of local government
    • Creates an uneven playing field between AirBnB and other holiday letting accommodation
    • Allows for unabated use of residential zones for commercial purposes.

To the Minister for Fair Trading, Matt Kean, and the Director of Housing Policy, Department of Planning and Environment,

I am writing to make a submission on the proposed changes to the regulation of short-term rental accommodation in NSW.

The proposed changes create a one-size-fits-all approach to regulating short-term rental accommodation. It is completely inappropriate to create a blanket rule across the state that permits short-term rental accommodation without the need for development approval.

The proposed reform:

  • Completely ignores local issues and the need for localised regulation
  • Will lead to the rapid deterioration of many NSW communities
  • Creates an unfair playing field for other local holiday letting businesses
  • Will have a disastrous impact on affordable housing in many communities.

I strongly believe that local government is best placed to regulate short-term rental accommodation. Local governments understand their community and can develop localised controls that will ensure the needs of the community and local businesses are met.

I call on the NSW Government to amend the proposed reform and empower community decision making by:

  1. Allowing local government to determine the permissibility of short-term rental accommodation in each land use zone and the corresponding level of development approval required in each zone
  2. Allowing local government to set the maximum number of days short-term rental accommodation is permitted in each land use zone
  3. Working with local government to improve awareness and enforcement around how short-term rental accommodation is regulated
  4. Reconsidering the grossly unfair requirement that councils have just 8 weeks to apply to reduce the permitted number of days for short-term rental accommodation.    

Short-term rental accommodation must be placed back in the hands of local government. I implore the NSW Government to reconsider its one-size-fits-all approach to short-term rental accommodation and put the needs of local communities first.



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