Am I allowed to have visitors on my land?
This will be a decision for you and something that Youcamp cannot take responsibility for. You will need to make sure you don’t upset your neighbours or get on the wrong side of your Local Council. Also check with your relevant state government department for any other guidelines you may not know about. It is critical you read and agree to Youcamp’s Terms and Conditions before listing your property.
Do I need to have Council approval to list my property on Youcamp?
Yes, you need to ensure you fit into at least one of the three scenarios:
- You are allowed to host visitors to your property under exemptions or regulations established by State Governments or your local council
- You are approved to host visitors to your property
- You have sought or are seeking approval to be able to accept guests onto your property.
I need some help in dealing with my local council. Can Youcamp help?
Yes. Local council rules can be confusing so we’re working with local and state governments around Australia to clarify the rules so that it is fairer and easier for a host to create a tourism business and list it on Youcamp. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also suggest getting in touch with a town planner. Town planners can assist by negotiating directly with your local Council on your behalf.
LEGAL ISSUES FOR HOSTS
What legal issues should I consider?
Before listing your property on Youcamp, we recommend you have appropriate legal protection against claims. We are not lawyers and cannot give you legal advice. The following points are intended as a guide for hosts to consider but are not a substitute for obtaining your own legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Each host’s circumstances will be different, so it is important you check the laws applying in your particular location and for the particular activities you offer. Youcamp accepts no liability for any loss or damage resulting from hosts failing to obtain their own appropriate legal advice.
Legal issues that you need to consider include the following:
Liability for Accidents or Injury
Depending on your circumstances and location, you can exclude some liability by an appropriate disclaimer or release between you as the landholder and users of your land. However as the landholder, you have a legal duty of care to prevent reasonably foreseeable injury or damage to property of a person coming onto your land and may be liable to pay compensation to guests for injury or damage to property arising from reasonably foreseeable causes that they suffer resulting from use of your land. If you are charging visitors a fee to use your land (or labour exchange) for a particular purpose, you are also legally deemed to have promised to take reasonable steps to make the land safe for that purpose and may be liable to pay compensation to guests for injury or damage to property arising from causes that reasonable steps could have prevented.
Similarly, under the Australian Consumer Law, which applies under Commonwealth and State Legislation, if you charge people for the use of your land you must exercise due care and skill, which means that you must take reasonable steps to make the land safe for the purpose that it is to be used.
Your liability may also be different depending on the type of activities you offer.
In some cases you can exclude some liability by an appropriate disclaimer or release between you and users of your land, under which the users agree to release you from liability, as a condition of being allowed access to your land. In New South Wales and Western Australia you can also exclude liability in negligence to a person participating in certain recreational activities on your land, provided that you warn the person of the risk of the activity before it eventuates or give a general warning of a type of risk associated with the activity, including the risks that may eventuate. While the warning can be given orally, it is best to do so in writing, which can include by means of a sign.
You should note, however, that liability under the Australian Consumer Law usually cannot be excluded by a warning or an agreement, and will still apply even if other liability has been excluded. There is an exception if:
The property is owned by a corporation or located in a Territory (rather than a State) (an eligible landholder) and the visitor is engaging in “a sporting activity or a similar leisure time pursuit” or any other recreational activity that “involves a significant degree of physical exertion or physical risk” on the land.
In that case, an eligible landholder may be able to rely on an appropriately drafted disclaimer or release to exclude liability for personal injury to the visitor suffered in the course of the relevant activity.
In Victoria and South Australia, a landholder that is not a corporation can also exclude some liability under the Australian Consumer Law for personal injury in relation to the recreational activities referred to above, but must use a statutorily prescribed form of disclaimer to do so, and must have given the injured person a prescribed form of disclosure regarding the person’s rights under the Australian Consumer Law prior to the activity being conducted. The relevant forms are set out in the legislation in each State – in Victoria section 6 and Schedules 2 and 3 of the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Regulations 2012 (Vic) and in South Australia Regulation 5 and Schedule 1 of the Fair Trading Regulations 2010 (SA). Even if he or she complies with these requirements, a non-corporate landholder in those States still cannot exclude liability under the Australian Consumer Law for damages for “significant personal injury” caused by the “reckless conduct” of the landholder. We recommend that you obtain legal advice about using the relevant disclaimer forms.
We recommend you always use an appropriate disclaimer or release and make sure visitors sign it when they arrive. We cannot give you legal advice, so you should check with your solicitor about your liability and ask them to advise you about whether liability can legally be excluded or omitted in your particular case and any particular form of disclaimer or procedure that you should adopt.
You should also check with your insurer to see whether the accommodation and/or activities you offer are covered by your insurance. Ordinary farm or property public liability insurance does not usually cover you for loss or injury suffered by visitors or other recreational users of your land. High risk outdoor activities such as boating, rock-climbing etc., are usually excluded from farm liability insurance cover. It may be possible to extend your farm policy to cover the other activities or it might be necessary to take out separate commercial cover, depending on the type of activities you want to offer to guests. The key to making sure you have the appropriate cover is to disclose to your insurer the nature of all activities you will undertake or allow on your land.
Depending on the type of activities that you want to offer to guests, you may wish to contact one of the insurers or insurance brokers who specialise in insurance products for the tourism industry and in particular the outdoor recreation industry. While we don’t recommend any particular insurer, we do suggest talking to broker Angela Brickwood Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers (email@example.com T 07 3367 5012 M 0409 644 142). Angela and her team have developed a Youcamp Insurance Scheme. Some broad details include:
- 3 Tier Options ($565, $745 & $985 for 12 months)
- $20 Million Indemnity Limit
- $1,000 Excess per claim / occurrence
Regulation of Hunting
If you wish to allow hunting on your property, you also should be aware that there are different regulations in each State and Territory concerning hunting. In New South Wales, some game animals may only be hunted by people holding a hunting licence (there is an exception if you are hunting on your own land), whereas most feral animals may be hunted on private land by invitees of the landholder without a licence: sections 16 and 17 and Schedule 3, Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002 (NSW). A summary of the regulations in each State and Territory is set out at the website of the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia. The Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia site also contains links to the websites of the relevant regulatory Authorities in each State and Territory.
There are separate insurance requirements for hunting and if you intend to allow hunting on your land, we recommend to make sure that all hunters are insured.
Under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NSW) and equivalents laws in other States and Territories it is illegal to hunt or permit the hunting of most native animals on your land, with certain limited exceptions depending on the region.
You can also consider adopting a number of practices to minimise the likelihood of liability. A useful guide are the Adventure Activity Standards that have been developed or are being developed in each State by the peak outdoor industry bodies to assist providers to plan and conduct outdoor recreation activities, covering essential aspects and practices including planning, supervisor competency, equipment, safety, emergency procedures and environmental issues.
They are draft non-compulsory guidelines for risk management in the operation of some organised outdoor activities and can provide a framework and checklist for you to devise your own individual risk management program and strategy. Whilst you will not automatically avoid liability by complying with the Adventure Activity Standards, they may form a useful set of minimum standards for you to follow.
A link to the Standards for each State may be found on the website of the Outdoor Council of Australia.
What do the Youcamp Terms and Conditions mean in simple terms?
- You must 18 years of age or older to use Youcamp.
- Youcamp is purely an online platform. A booking is solely between a guest and a host. Youcamp collects the full booking amount and passes it onto the host when the guest checks in.
- Youcamp accepts no responsibility for the actions of Hosts or Guests or for any other user of the Youcamp System.
- Youcamp is not an owner or operator or provider of any travel or transport services, properties, campsites, lodgings or other accommodations and Youcamp does not rent, manage or control any of the foregoing. The responsibilities of Youcamp are limited to operating the Youcamp System.
- Youcamp gives no warranty that such information is accurate, and it is your responsibility to verify information regarding a Property with Hosts directly.
- You may view Property Listings as an unregistered User of the Youcamp System, however in order to book a Property or to create a Property Listing, you must register for an Account.
- The personal information that you provide to Youcamp (or which Youcamp otherwise obtains) during the registration process, shall be used to create your Account. You must give us current, accurate, and complete information about yourself during the registration process and you must ensure that any such information is always kept up to date.
- You must not post or upload any content containing viruses, political advertising, commercial solicitation, mass mailings, or any form of spam.
- You must not create a Property Listing as a Host for property that you do not own or otherwise have sufficient legal right to rent or otherwise create a Property Listing for. By creating a Property Listing, you warrant to Youcamp that you own or otherwise have sufficient legal right to rent or otherwise create a Property Listing.
- Hosts and guests are obligated to use the Youcamp system for all Youcamp generated bookings – either received directly on the Youcamp website or through word of mouth, social media, advertising or other sources. A host can add a booking manually when an enquiry has been received by phone, email or someone who arrives. Circumventing the Youcamp System is in breach of the Terms and Conditions.
- As a host, it is your responsibility to comply with local laws and seek insurance as required.
- Youcamp charges a Guest Fee on each booking (10%) and a Host Fee (2%) to cover the cost of each transaction. Hosts can also nominate if they are registered for GST and this amount is shown on the host payout.
- We won’t collect your personal information unless it is reasonably necessary for our functions or activities.
- If we hold your personal information we won’t use or disclose the information for the purpose of direct marketing without your consent.
- We have processes in place to ensure the security of your personal information, including encryption of all data when it is transferred to our service providers and limitations on access to personal information within our organisation.
- We use Stripe as the payment gateway for processing bookings and paying the host. Stripe has been audited by a PCI-certified auditor, and is certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1. This is the most stringent level of certification available. All card numbers are encrypted.