Victims of Holiday Letting (VOHL) strongly oppose unregulated and problematic illegal holiday letting in Byron Shire.
Our members have been subjected to behaviour from holiday let occupants that has detrimentally impacted their amenity over a long period.
When VOHL was formed, we requested Byron Shire Council to undertake its fundamental duty and responsibility to prosecute the illegal holiday lets in 2a(R2) Residential Zones.
There were several legal precedents to support this including Dobrohottof vs Bennic (2013) in the NSW Land and Environment Court.
VOHL supports the current effort by Council to develop a Holiday Letting Strategy to enable regulation.
We attended a meeting on 27 May with councillors and staff to examine Council’s Discussion Paper through a workshop process. From our considerable research we made our comments and submitted our proposals.
We have provided information to show that the proposed potential holiday let zones or precincts are too large. These can be seen at www.byron.nsw.gov.au/new-forward-planning.
We would like council to map the location of known permanent holiday lets. We suggest that streets which have minimal or no holiday lets be excised from the potential zones or precincts.
We welcome a strong Development Control Plan which will help regulate holiday letting. We want a legal independent entity such as Council to be the final regulating and registering authority.
All potential holiday lets should go through a DA process so that the public have the ability to make submissions. A commercial rate should be applied to all holiday let businesses.
Any future policy should require the owners or managers of holiday lets to have management strategies in place to prevent and control problem behaviour of renters such as offensive noise.
It should not be the police or council that has to do this. At our meeting with Council it was generally agreed that registration would be cancelled after 2 substantiated complaints.
A holiday let should be registered for a certain number of guests to a maximum of three bedrooms with two people per bedroom.
We have recommended that Council adopt the policy that some coastal WA councils have instituted that the maximum number of people on the premises at any one time be no more than the number of guests for which the let is registered.
This would help to resolve the issue of a holiday let being used as a party/function house which has created amenity problems for neighbours in the past.
Our reasoned approach is in contrast to the response of the holiday let lobby, which had a separate meeting with Council on 24 June. Their comments can be seen in the web link provided.
They don’t want zones or precincts and want holiday letting to occur anywhere. They don’t want a full commercial rate applied and it appears that they would like to be the registering authority.
Voluntary self-regulation by the vested interests has already proven ineffective.
Doug Luke, Co-ordinator VOHL, Byron Bay