PARTS of regulation being considered for the short-term rental industry will have a significant impact on the economic benefit it provides the region, rental facilitators and property owners say.
The NSW government has been considering regulating the industry for the past couple of years, including allowing councils outside Sydney to place 180-day caps on the amount of time properties can be occupied each year.
Newcastle and Lake Macquarie councils have both moved towards implementing the 180-day caps, but short-term rental booking company Stayz says the cap, and other regulation under consideration, could be a blow to the local economy.
"Recently, holiday rental accommodation drove $137.8 million dollars of economic growth and supported 763 jobs across the Hunter," Eacham Curry, Stayz corporate affairs director, said.
"Short-term rentals enabled 206,360 nights of accommodation for families and other holiday makers in 2017/18. Without this crucial injection of tourist accommodation capacity, the Hunter would miss out on the valuable economic uplift associated with the tourism sector."
Mr Curry said Stayz supported regulation to see problem areas addressed, but it was against limits on the amount of time properties could be occupied.
"Night caps for holiday rental accommodation will not only put the economic uplift associated with the tourism sector at risk, but also fail to address the three most consistently cited concerns about the industry, namely; housing affordability, availability and the impact on amenity," he said.
Bar Beach's Libby Helinski, 43, has leased out a short-term rental house in Cooks Hill for four years. She also runs a home wares store in the suburb, which she said had benefited from the increase in short-term rentals in the surrounding suburbs in recent years. She said business at her store on Saturdays had grown significantly on the back of people visiting the city for weekend or overnight stays.
"Saturday is now our biggest trading day, and I'd say half of those people who come into the store are not from Newcastle," she said.
"I've really noticed a significant change in the five years I've had the business."
Ms Helinski said the 180-day cap needed to be considered against the benefits year-long accommodation availability provided to the region's businesses, not just property owners.
"I'm supportive of [year-long] short-term accommodation ... and the benefits that brings to similar businesses like myself," she said.
"They're mainly concerned about party-type situations, but I don't understand how that cap will help with that because it doesn't change the weekend [bookings].
"It does restrict the number of visitors who can come to Newcastle."
Research from ACIL Allen Economics, which was commisioned by Stayz, found Hunter region holiday rentals generated have $50.5 million in revenue for their owners.
It also found if that, if enacted across the Hunter, a 180-day cap would threaten $21.2 million worth of economic uplift and put 117 jobs at risk.
Mr Curry said Stayz was also against regulation proposals that would enable strata schemes to ban short-term rental accommodation in their buildings and ban holiday homes that contain 12 or more beds and limits on the number of guests allowed in a bedroom.