The sign outside the Woy Woy property.
The sign outside the Woy Woy property.

Sign rips into 'nosy dobber' neighbour

A law-abiding landlord has sent a message to a "nosy dobber" after police investigating coronavirus restriction breaches arrived on her doorstep to ask about the new tenant in her granny flat.

Tanya Watson pulled her "Happy Cottage" at Woy Woy on the NSW Central Coast off the short-term market when the COVID-19 rules around essential travel, holidays and short-term stays were announced.

It had previously been advertised on Airbnb, where she is considered a Superhost, and also has a direct booking website.

"After that I had to think of a new way to obviously get income from the property," she told news.com.au today.

"The property was advertised for stays of up to 90 days only, keeping compliant with short-term stay rules."

She received 20 applications within two weeks and chose someone on a contract from interstate who moved in on April 8.

❤️ We have just had the privilege of welcoming our lovely happy guest to Happy Cottage which will be her home for as...

Posted by Happy Cottage - Short Term Holiday Accommodation on Wednesday, April 8, 2020

"I made sure that I contacted her employer, I asked for her ID, I got an essential worker's letter from her employer verifying the reason she was coming," Ms Watson said.

But a local stickybeak had other ideas and called police who came by on April 10.

"I knew I'd done nothing wrong," Ms Watson said.

"My tenant … is very, very lovely and everything's done right. They had actually gone up to my granny flat, the police, knocked on her door. She opened the door and obviously was really shocked."

The granny flat where an essential worker is living.
The granny flat where an essential worker is living.

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Ms Watson said police wouldn't reveal who had made the call.

"They said it's an anonymous report," she said.

"With that, I made my sign, I put it out the front so that the dobbers or whoever it was may really think twice about getting involved in something they're not really sure of.

"We would be very open to having that conversation. I just don't know who it was - I have my suspects."

Her "For Your Information" sign, hung on the front fence, states: "Get your facts straight first!"

"Mind your own business and stop wasting police time!" it reads.

The sign outside the Woy Woy property.
The sign outside the Woy Woy property.

The popular flat had been a holiday property since March 2018 and had welcomed more than 75 groups.

Ms Watson said her immediate neighbours were informed of the change to the tenancy arrangement but have always been "really supportive".

She said her tenant, who is on a lease through NSW Fair Trading, thanked her for taking a stand.

"The last thing I need is for her to feel unsettled," she said, noting the dobber's "trigger" may have been seeing the woman's interstate car number plates.

"Whoever it is, I hope they've driven past and seen my sign," she said.

Happy Cottage in Woy Woy on the NSW Central Coast.
Happy Cottage in Woy Woy on the NSW Central Coast.

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When she checked with Woy Woy police on Saturday that she was "off the naughty list", one officer told her they had received 200 calls "on people just dobbing people in".

"In this situation, it has been encouraged; it's not something that we've really heard of before," Ms Watson said, describing it as "out of control".

"Now it's like you can't trust anyone."

Ms Watson said those doing the wrong thing deserved to be penalised but she was "standing up for people who are compliant and are doing the right thing".

She said her sign will stay on the fence "forevermore" but she might need to get another permanent marker.

Originally published as Sign rips into 'nosy dobber' neighbour



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