Explained: Noosa’s crackdown on holiday homes
Hens and bucks parties and other celebrations will be off limits at Noosa holiday homes under plans to crack down on the short stay accommodation industry.
Noosa Council is calling for public feedback on its proposed draft local law to manage privately-owned holiday homes and units.
It proposes new rules for property owners including that they apply for annual registration, keep a record of complaints and have a manager who lives within 20 minutes of the home or unit.
Industry members labelled the proposal as "draconian" and said it risked leading to homeowners pulling out of the short stay letting pool entirely - leaving tourists with fewer accommodation options.
But residents living near some holiday rentals have urged council to take action to avoid destroying the laid-back lifestyle they have long enjoyed.
The new rules
The local law would apply to properties let to one or more people, other than the owner, for less than three months.
It aims to reduce the impact on residential amenity from short stay homes and units.
Under the new rules a contact person would need to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, live within 20 minutes of the property and respond to complaints within 30 minutes.
Their contact details would also need to be visible on a sign at the property.
Property owners would need to gain approval annually for short stay letting.
The application would need to include a floor plan and the maximum number of people allowed at the premises.
Owners must also sign a statutory declaration stating the property would not be used for a party house.
The Queensland Planning Act states that a party house is a dwelling used to provide, for a fee, for guests to use for bucks and hens parties, raves, wedding receptions and other celebrations.
There would also be a code of conduct designed to minimise effects to residential amenity.
Cars would have to be parked at the property and not cause a nuisance to surrounding residents and camping and caravanning on the premises would be ruled out.
Noise would be limited at outdoor areas, including pools and decks.
The code also classes loud and aggressive behaviour and excessively loud cheering, clapping or singing as "unacceptable".
Under the draft local law the contact person must keep a record of complaints and of when the home was let and the number of guests.
New rules would also apply to home-hosted accommodation, where the property owner rents rooms for less than three months while they continue to reside at the premises.
These properties would require a one-off approval.
Electrical and pool, if appropriate, safety certificates would also be required.
If a home is someone's main place of residence it can be short stay let four times a year for a maximum of 60 days without planning approval.
A necessary local law
If approved Noosa Council would be the first in Queensland to introduce a local law for short stay home providers.
Environmental and sustainable development acting director Anthony Dow said the increase of residential properties being used for short-stay letting also led to an increase in complaints.
"With online bookings, many properties are being managed from a distance with no local presence, management structure or regulation," Mr Dow said.
"This lack of local management, together with the creep of visitors into residential neighbourhoods and mix of visitors and permanent residents, has given rise to a number of complaints."
Mr Dow said the council recognised the differing views on the proposed local law.
The council's public interest test report acknowledges the local law would have a "slight affect" on businesses involved, consumer price and the cost of owning one of these properties.
"There is a lot of support in the community to manage short-stay letting and the effects on residential amenity for permanent residents, but we recognise other stakeholders such as letting agents and short-stay providers may have other views and issues," Mr Dow said.
Stayz corporate affairs director Eacham Curry said the council should be lobbying for statewide regulation instead.
However Mr Dow said with the government having deferred its short stay accommodation framework plans the council would continue to progress its own local law.
"Residential amenity impacts from short-stay letting properties continue to be an issue for some in our community, so we're pressing on with the introduction of the new local law to deal with it at a local level," Mr Dow said.
Residents have until May 14 to have their say. Visit yoursay.noosa.qld.gov.au for more.