Letting agent and facilitator obligations

A letting agent is a person who carries on a business as an agent who enables people to enter short-term rental accommodation arrangements and often collects the rental payments for the premises.

Facilitators provide property management services for residential premises used for short-term rental. Services that can be provided include creating listings, rental pricing, guest vetting and communications, check-in services and cleaning.

This means that both letting agents and facilitators have important roles in helping their customers comply with the Code of Conduct for the Short-term Rental Accommodation Industry.

Letting agent obligations

Information about the Code of Conduct

A letting agent must inform customers using their services about the Code of Conduct and the obligations that arise under the code.

This includes the obligations that the letting agent has to their customers. A copy of the Code must also be readily available to those using the letting agent’s services.

Notice of complaint or dispute

To help resolve disputes and issues arising between its customers, a letting agent must notify the guest or the host of a complaint or a dispute that relates to them as soon as possible after they are made aware.

The letting agent must take reasonable steps to ensure that a host or guest is aware of how to lodge a complaint with NSW Fair Trading about a guest, host or premises.

Read more about Short-term Rental Accommodation Complaints.

Premises register

From 1 June 2021, letting agents must not advertise premises unless it is registered on the premises register and its registration number is displayed with the details of the premises.

More information about the premises register will be made available at the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

Exclusion register

A letting agent must not advertise or facilitate the offering of accommodation if a host or premises are listed on the exclusion register.

The agent must ensure that a guest who is listed on the Exclusion Register is unable to use its services to enter an arrangement for accommodation.

If the agent is made aware that a guest, host or premises has been recorded on the exclusion register while using its services it must notify as soon as possible the guest or host of the listing on the register.

NSW Fair Trading will be taking an educational approach to Exclusion Register obligations that prohibit entering into or facilitating short-term rental arrangements until 1 June 2021.

However, Fair Trading will be enforcing obligations on hosts and guests to not enter into these arrangements if they have been recorded on the exclusion register

Read more about Fair Trading’s approach to enforcing exclusion register obligations with our Statement of Regulatory Intent.

Read more about the Exclusion Register.

Record-keeping requirements

Letting agents must keep records of each transaction entered into using its services for 3 years.

Requiring these records be kept will help NSW Fair Trading in handling complaints and in the future development of the regulatory framework.

Facilitator obligations

A facilitator acting as a representative for a letting agent must comply with the same obligations as are imposed on the letting agent, as outlined above.

A facilitator that is acting as a representative for a host must comply with the same obligations as are imposed on the host.

When acting on behalf of a host, a facilitator must keep records of each transaction that is entered into on behalf of the host.

By requiring that these records be kept will help NSW Fair Trading in handling complaints and in the future development of the regulatory framework.

Read more about Host obligations.

General obligations

The Code of Conduct imposes some general obligations that apply to all industry participants, including letting agents and facilitators.

Act honestly and in good faith

All participants must act honestly and in good faith as part of any short-term rental accommodation arrangement.

Participants must act honestly and in good faith in relation to any dealing, complaint or dispute that arises about a short-term rental accommodation arrangement.

Cooperation with NSW Fair Trading

All participants must cooperate with NSW Fair Trading in its enforcement and administration of the Code of Conduct.

This includes complying with directions issued by Fair Trading and with requests for information relating to their activities as an industry participant or under the code.

The information collected by Fair Trading will be used to enforce the code and to monitor, evaluate and inform further development of the regulatory framework.

Identity of participants excluded from the industry

Industry participants must not knowingly misrepresent the identity of any person or premises to avoid a provision of the code because the person or premises is recorded on the exclusion register.

Read more about the Exclusion Register.

 
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