Noosa's crackdown on short-term stay under fire
NOOSA'S bid to crack down on short-stay rentals is under fire from a major online provider as being heavy-handed.
Councillors are intent on introducing a local law that aims to limit the number of people who can stay in the holiday rentals and make it compulsory for the host or manager to live within 20 minutes of the property.
Short-term rental website Stayz said Noosa Shire Council was acting prematurely and would make it almost impossible for holiday homeowners to let out a property on a short-term basis.
Mayor Tony Wellington said the proposed draft local law was in response to hundreds of submissions received during the initial public consultation for the New Noosa Plan.
"The proposed new local law will only apply to properties that are short-term let without an onsite manager," Cr Wellington said.
"The local law does not apply where a person lives onsite and rents out a room or two in their own house, nor where a homeowner rents their own home for a short period whilst away, nor where the accommodation is within a managed resort.
"We have clearly listened to the feedback. This local law, incorporating a code of conduct for guests, endeavours to strike a balance between the rights of local residents and those wishing to use short-stay accommodation."
Stayz corporate affairs director Eacham Curry said while it was understandable Noosa Shire Council was seeking to improve neighbourhood amenity in its community, the State Government was working on a suite of new regulations for the industry, including a new code of conduct.
Mr Curry said Stayz advocated for statewide regulation that contained a simple registration scheme for all holiday rental listings, a code of conduct that is backed by a strikes-based disciplinary regimen, and an industry body to adjudicate compliance with the code of conduct.
"The new local law proposed today will only capture one part of the sector and make it next to impossible for mum and dad holiday homeowners to let out their property when they are not using it themselves," Mr Curry said.
"Stayz understands the desire for action by local governments, but we urge patience while the Queensland Government moves to finalise its statewide regulatory framework.
"Stayz condemns all instances of anti-social and bad behaviour in holiday rental accommodation. However, we believe the best way to deal with the small minority of problematic listings and travellers is through consistent, statewide regulation."
Should there be more restrictions on short-stay accommodation in Noosa?
Cr Wellington said most houses that had been short-term let for some time would have existing use rights.
"This means no planning approval is required for those already letting out their properties. However when the new plan comes in, any new properties proposed to be used regularly for short-term letting will require planning approval under the New Noosa Plan and registration under the local law.
Cr Wellington said the aim was to minimise the impacts of short-term accommodation on residents, which was a key source of complaints to council.
"The proposed local law will go some way toward council being able to manage these issues," he said.
"Whilst we accept that there are existing use rights for those who have been letting entire properties for short-stay accommodation, changes to the planning scheme also aim to protect housing stock for residents, particularly ensuring there are long-term rental properties in the low-density residential zone.
"The new rules are intended to improve the level of management of properties that are being regularly let, but do not have someone onsite to manage the guests.
"It thus aims to minimise the impacts on surrounding neighbours."