Short-term letting

What do I need to know before listing on Airbnb (or any other short-term letting platform)?

The government is considering recommendations from a parliamentary inquiry.

No legislative or regulatory changes have been made yet. The government is considering recommendations by the Committee on Environment and Planning following its inquiry into the adequacy of the regulation of short-term letting in NSW. If the government agrees with the committee’s recommendations, changes to planning laws are possible.

You need to check with your local Council to see if you need special permission

In order to legally list your property through a short-term letting platform, you need to make sure your property is zoned appropriately, under your local Council’s Local Environmental Plan (LEP). Each local Council has one.

LEPs guide planning decisions for local government areas. They do this through zoning and development controls, which provide a framework for the way land can be used. LEPs are the main planning tool to shape the future of communities and to make sure that local development is done appropriately.

Each local Council is different and may have slightly different requirements.

To check your property’s zoning, head to the Department of Planning and Environment’s Planning Portal. Here, you will be able to see what commercial activity may (or may not) be permitted with or without consent.

Please note that not all local governments have provided LEP information. You should also confirm this information with your council directly. The NSW Government is continuing to work with local Councils to provide detailed and accessible information.

If you live in a strata scheme, you will need to consider your neighbours and your scheme’s by-laws

You should also note that listing your property through a short-term letting platform could have serious implications for the scheme’s building insurance.

Are you a tenant? What does your landlord think?

If you are renting a property you should get your landlord’s permission before considering listing your spare room. If you don’t, and they find out, it could have serious implications for your rental agreement and may provide cause for your lease to be terminated.

What do I need to do?
  • Head to the Planning Portal or contact your local Council to check the zoning for your property
  • Check if ‘short term letting’ a permitted use with or without consent
  • Check the Councils’ LEP for any restrictions or prohibitions regarding short term letting
  • If consent is needed, contact the Council for information on the conditions of approval
  • If it is a Strata unit:
    • Check if ‘short term letting’ (ie less than 3 months) is permitted by Council
    • Check if ‘short term letting’ (ie less than 3 months) is permitted by the Strata by-laws
  •  Note: the term you are looking for is ‘short term letting’ - Tourist & Visitor Accommodation usually refers to commercial operations.

Note: the term you should be looking for in the Plannning Portal or at your Council is ‘short-term letting’. 'Tourist and Visitor Accommodation' usually refers to commercial operations.