If you rent out your property for short-term rental accommodation or holiday letting, such as Airbnb, you must be compliant in order to keep your guests safe and your interests protected.

Some changes are now in effect as of November 1, 2021, in accordance with the state-wide Short-Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) planning policy adopted on April 9, 2021.

With that in mind, now is the time to ensure that you are in compliance with these changes and are not caught off guard by fines for non-compliance or, worse, a fire emergency in the building.

What has changed? 

New standards for evacuation plans, smoke alarms, and fire extinguishers, as well as new regulations requiring all STRA premises to be registered, are among the updated requirements.

The new policy outlines exempt development pathways for both hosted and non-hosted STRA in specific LGAs.

Owners are now required by new legislation to:

  • Place evacuation plans in each bedroom and behind the main entry door.
  • Ensure that all EFSM is up to standard and that a certificate is provided.
  • Create an emergency information sheet and install interconnected smoke/heat alarms.
  • To confirm compliance with the new fire safety standards, you must be registered on the government-run STRA register.

Which buildings are categorised as STRA? 

Short-term rentals are all lawfully constructed dwellings that are permitted to be used as residential accommodation. Exceptions to this rule include:

  • boarding schools
  • housing for the elderly
  • dwellings for rural workers
  • homes for the elderly
  • hostels
  • a safe haven or crisis accommodation
  • construct-to-rent housing
  • co-living quarters
  • Houses that are mobile (caravans, tents, or glamping accommodation)

What should you do?

Smoke Alarms:

Smoke alarms must comply with AS3786 and be installed on the ceiling of the hallway outside each storey’s bedrooms. They must all be linked and powered by either the main power supply or a ten-year Lithium battery.

Evacuation Diagrams:

Each bedroom and the area behind the main entry door must now have an evacuation plan. These must be created in accordance with AS3745 and must at a minimum show the location of the building’s fire equipment, exit points, emergency assembly points, and evacuation routes.

General Emergency Advice Sheet: 

As part of the new legislation, STRA hosts must provide tenants with a General Emergency Advice sheet that includes the following information:

  • The location and phone numbers for the nearest hospital, fire station, and police station
  • Emergency Services Phone Numbers
  • Building administration specifics (if applicable)
  • They are directed to the emergency assembly area by a site map.
  • Behind the main entry door, Emergency Advice Sheets must be installed.

Blankets and portable fire extinguishers:

Although having a fire blanket and extinguisher is not required for all buildings, we recommend that all homes have at least one.

Not all Class 1 buildings require them, but Class 2 (residential apartment buildings) and Class 4 (STRAs that are part of a commercial complex) must have them installed.

This may appear to be a lengthy list, but we’ve got you covered with simple, cost-effective, and compliant fire safety packages designed specifically for STRA owners.

How to register your STRA? 

Anyone who wants to rent out short-term accommodations should have registered with the STRA before November 1, so if you haven’t already, you should do so right away.

Registration necessitates proof of consent from the property owner as well as verification that the properties they manage meet the policy’s fire safety standards.

Hosts must also pay a $65 registration fee for the first 12 months, followed by a $25 annual renewal fee.

If you need help registering your accommodation, go to the NSW Government Planning Portal, create an account, and fill out the form. For questions regarding this new regulation, contact Control Fire Protection.