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Byron Shire
April 18, 2021

Polite holiday-let tenants

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As our council is in the process of regulating Holiday Letting establishments and I live next door to a holiday-let house I would like to share my experience.

The place next door is a large house, sleeps officially up to 8 but at schoolies time this could grow to more. It is a place where one would expect a few problems.

We know the owners, meet them a few times each year to discuss any problems. The place is managed by an agency and we find them very responsible. The renters, particularly the kids, seem to be given detailed instructions on what is acceptable and what is not. Occasionally they eve come to our door, explain who they are, what their plans are and invite us to just let them know if we do have a problem with them.

It seems to me the problem of unruly Holiday lets can be handled by responsible owners and capable agencies. I would not like to see a blanked ban on all holiday letting either by district or through the entire council area. If there are problems then the agencies and the owners should be held to account. It works with our neighbours.

What is the alternative? The owners of these properties have somewhere else to live. If Holiday Lets are prohibited we must assume the places will be rented to long term tenants. Good for these tenants but I may end up with a dysfunctional noisy and unacceptable family for neighbours who are there for an indefinite time. If my neighbours end up being noisy I prefer to know that by the end of the week they are gone, not have a multi year lease.

I feel sorry for residents who come here with the understanding that as soon as they arrive everyone else in the suburb will move away so that they can live an undisturbed squireship in the best place of Australia.

Harald Ehrlich, Suffolk Park

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  1. You are the only neighbour of a holiday that I am aware of that has minimal problems from holiday letting- hmm makes me wonder! A few comments:
    1.Holiday letting is still illegal.
    2. You state that the holiday let “sleeps officially up to 8 but at schoolies this could grow to more”. Once the number of guests reaches 12 then it becomes a backpackers business and can be fined $750 by council compliance for development without consent. There are holiday lets that advertise that they sleep 12 or more. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.
    3.You are extremely lucky that you have owners and managers that act responsibly towards the neighbours and I presume treat you in a professional manner with dignity and respect. This is extremely unusual. You have not said whether they act on your concerns.
    4.You are correct in saying that the problems must be dealt with by owners or managers. Council wants a regulation where if any problems arise then it there must be a response within half an hour by management.
    5. There could be a problem permanent tenant but the neighbours know who they are dealing with and there is a better possibility of controlling unruly tenants. With unruly holiday lets occupants who are in party mode it is much more difficult to control when you have a new lot coming in every Saturday
    6.Most reasonable people expect some noise when they live in suburbia. What they don’t expect is an out of control, unregulated holiday let beside them where offensive noise and other behaviour occurs regularly. Being woken or kept awake at night when you have to go to work the following morning is not what you expect in suburbia.

  2. With all due respect Harald, what does the neighbour on the other side of the holiday let and the three bordering the back fence think of the holiday let that you are referring to? Do they share a similar opinion to you? Does the owner and real estate agent who manages the let communicate with them as much as they do with you?

    I am aware of the holiday let that you have discussed. I am friendly with some nearby neighbours who say that they hear the noise from the holiday let occupants on many occasions!

  3. Hmm, Will, you make me wonder too – I find you, like many other opponents to holiday letting, are being a little dramatic/jumping on the bandwagon. Yes this type of business is deemed illegal. However, it has looooong been an integral part of coastal town lifestyles in Oz for decades. I remember my parents taking me + my siblings up + down the coast in the 40’s/50’s e.g. Yamba, Evans Head, Brunswick Heads, Kingscliff, Coolie to stay in holiday lets like many other families. I now take my family to these destinations + we stay in holiday let houses because this type of accommodation best caters to our needs/wants unlike B&Bs/Motels/Apartments. I live in between 2 holiday letting properties in Byron Bay – one is self managed by the owner + the other managed by LJ Hooker. I have to say that both have been managed very well over the last 11 years while I have lived here despite each changing hands 2/3 times. Yes I do experience issues from time to time with noise coming from some of these holiday properties but I either deal directly with the tenants or contact the owners/real estate who handle it efficiently/effectively. We have even actually become good friends with ‘regulars’ who stay at these properties who book a whole month in Dec or Jan each year + enjoy BBQ’s with each other. So Harald is definitely not the only one who has had minimal problems with holiday letting. I am a realist so not totally against holiday letting but I am all for regulation of this business. This particular Council seem to be taking appropriate/realistic steps towards better management vs past. Lets hope they continue to do so in order to implement a fair solution which will operate effectively.


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