Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Holiday Rental Legal Requirements 

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When it comes to holiday rental legal requirements, things can sometimes get a little complicated. It’s no secret that owning a holiday property is almost always a great investment, as it not only allows you to have a place to stay whenever you want to get away from the city, but also provides an additional side income.

To make things easier, we have created a little guide to answer all of the legal questions you may have to ensure you are meeting all of the rental legal requirements.

What are the legal requirements for a holiday rental?

To understand the law around holiday rentals, it is important to have a clear purpose of renting out the property. Typically, most properties can either be rented out as short-term visits for holiday purposes (less than 90 days) or long-term residential properties. This in turn impacts the legal requirements that property owners must meet.

Short-term rentals are legally much less restricted in terms of property management and leave much of the choice to the owners. For example, statements surrounding pricing, length of stay, house rules, cancellation policies often can be decided by the owners themselves.

However, they must still meet The Fair Trading Act and Australia Consumer Protection legislation, which states that it is illegal for you to make any false or misleading statements about your holiday rental. This requires holiday rental owners to be cautious when it comes to accurately advertise their property, including regularly updating photos, clearly stating house policies, disclosing fees, etc.

On the other hand, long-term holiday rentals have strict residential tenancy requirements with legislation varying from state to state. These are in place to cover the tenant’s rights as well as your obligations as the owner, which include:

  • Disclosing and agreeing to rent pricing and security bond
  • The deadline for when you must lodge the security bond
  • When the security bond is applied, such as in the events of property damage, breach of contract etc.
  • When necessary maintenance and repairs need to be carried out
  • Other charges such as water, electricity, gas, etc.

Do I need permission to rent my property as a holiday rental?

Holiday rentals do not need a license unless you are an agent, at which point agents must hold a valid license. Whether you choose a professional real estate property management firm or independent property managers, it is important you do your research and ensure they have a good reputation and meet the necessary legal requirements.

However, short-term holiday rentals in the state of Victoria do not require a license regardless of whether you self-manage or opt for a property manager.

Should I have a holiday rental agreement?

A simple answer to this question is yes. Whether you choose to self-manage your holiday rental or hire an agency, it is crucial you have a clear and comprehensive agreement with the renters.

This typically outlines terms and conditions for renting your property, including guest identification documents as well as mandatory house rules for guests to follow. This provides a level of protection both for holiday rental owners and renters in case of any potential damage to the property or breach of contract.

Additionally, clear statements including start and end dates of their stay agreed pricing, cancellation policy, and fees must also be disclosed in a holiday rental agreement.

Generally speaking, your holiday rental agreement should include:

  • Clear booking dates
  • Cut off check-in and check-out times
  • Nightly or weekly rate
  • How much is a reservation deposit
  • Security deposit and terms
  • Cancellation policy
  • Guest access
  • Preferred payment methods
  • Any additional fees and charges such as utilities, cleaning, loss of keys and swipe cards, etc.
  • General house rules (smoking, parties, pets, noise, etc.)

Should I list my property on Airbnb?

Airbnb in recent years has become a largely popular platform for owners to host short renters. However, despite being free to list your holiday rental, Airbnb charges a 3% host service fee which is then deducted from the booking subtotal.

Additionally, since it is a large platform that hosts millions of listings, it can not always be guaranteed your property will receive the right amount of visibility, which means there might be extended periods of time you will not receive any bookings.

When it comes to services, such as cleaning and getting the property ready for new guests, owners are still required to complete the tasks themselves (unless it is outsourced), which may be challenging and time-consuming especially if you don’t live in the area.

Lastly, owners are in charge of responding to guests, typically in a short amount of time to maintain good reviews to deliver exceptional service and meet all of the house guests’ needs.

At Coast and Country Getaways, we have over 10 years of experience in specialising in short-term and holiday letting. This not only allows us to provide you with all the relevant industry knowledge but also assists you with holiday rentals services. These include preparing your holiday home so it’s ready to rent, recommending the right marketing and pricing strategy, or maintaining your property as a whole.

To find out more about our current holiday property management services or to list your property with us, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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