Real estate investors continue piling into Noosa – many are absentee-owners, viewing our town as just another investment commodity; with many thumbing their noses at what the majority of residents want – the protection and restoration of their neighbourhood’s residential amenity.
The Local Law protecting residents began operating on February 1. The Short Term Rental tsunami has swept many areas, soaking up properties previously rented by workers and threatening the heart of a vibrant community that for more than 50 years has fought to make Noosa what it is today. With the Local Law new rules will apply to all properties offered for Short Term Rent. Properties in low density residential areas without existing use rights can no longer be offered for Short Term Rent.
Three months ago Noosa Council took a nation-leading decision on Short Term Rentals. Councillors passed the new Local Law 6:1 after a two-year tussle between resident groups appealing for the protection and restoration of residential amenity, and real estate and property management representatives claiming adverse economic impacts. The Council said the law would also provide for increased safety for renters.
Mayor Clare Stewart gave her strong support to the initiative.
“Overwhelmingly residents called for more council support in regulating short stay letting, with many calling for a 24/7 complaints hotline, centralised complaints register and security services,” she said. “With this local law we’re delivering on these calls.”`
There has not been a word since. Where is the draft advice to property owners of their new obligations? Where is the draft Code of Conduct for renters? Where are the drafts for the signs outside STR properties offering emergency after-hours contact information?
It’s looking like a monumental failure of policy development and implementation. Not a great start to a Nation-leading initiative.
Here is an explanation from from Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie on how the new local laws will work:
From February 1, 2022, all complaints regarding short stay letting will be managed through a centralised 24/7 complaints hotline 07 5329 6466.
The new local law enables council to respond to excessively noisy, aggressive or careless behaviour of some short stay guests and help improve the neighbourhood amenity enjoyed by Noosa residents and visitors.Complaints will be made directly to the complaints hotline, which will then notify the property’s contact person.
The contact person must respond within 30 minutes by contacting guests. Short stay let properties are required to display an approval notice at the front of the property, including the 24/7 complaints hotline number and approval number, or at a location consistent with body corporate bylaws.A Guide to Good Management of Short Stay Letting and Home Hosted Accommodation has been prepared to provide additional information and best practice ways to manage properties used for short stay letting and home hosted accommodation to meet the requirements of the local law.
From today, 1 February 2022, a one-off application will need to be made for all existing and new stay letting or home hosted accommodation, unless identified as exempt. Annual renewal of the approval will be required.
A new Short Stay Local Laws team has been established under the Development Assessment Branch to support the local law including assessment of applications and compliance matters.
The team’s mailbox is firstname.lastname@example.org
The law is intended to improve the experience of both Noosa residents and guests and reflects systems used by responsible, holiday let properties where managers respond swiftly to neighbourhood complaints.