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Byron Shire
February 26, 2021

Byron’s holiday letting danger

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Victims Of Holiday Letting (VOHL) have been working diligently on an acceptable holiday letting strategy for Byron shire which protects your residential amenity.

VOHL is concerned that the regulation requiring the owner/manager to attend a holiday let, in person, to respond to a complaint, as in the original proposed holiday letting strategy, has been dropped.

The owner/manager knows the holiday let and would have met the occupants. He/she can assess, resolve problems on the spot and make immediate decisions such as termination of occupancy. This original regulation should be restored to help protect residential amenity.

Instead, a security service provided by the holiday lets lobby may attend. Many VOHL members and other residents will not use this service, finding it ineffective and inefficient.

VOHL believes that the security service as provided currently does not give the community the confidence that would be provided by owners/managers attending in person.

Currently, the security service does not adequately investigate the complaint. The upshot of this is that neighbours are then accused by owners of making vexatious complaints due to flawed investigation.

The standard set for offensive noise by the holiday lets lobby does not correspond to community standards for residential areas and the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.

Offensive noise that disturbs sleep or forces neighbours inside their house should be dealt with by owners/managers. Residents are entitled to peace and quiet in their homes.

Not only are neighbours subjected to out of control unregulated illegal holiday letting but insulted by being labelled as vexatious complainants.

This conflicts with the Holiday Rental Code of Conduct regulation: ‘managers should act with integrity, professionalism, courtesy and consideration when dealing with neighbours’.

Neighbours shouldn’t be intimidated or subject to retribution if they lodge a complaint.

Please be aware that the strategy needs to be strengthened to protect your residential amenity and that you will be impacted if it remains unchanged.

Doug Luke, coordinator, VOHL

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  1. At the first community meeting held on the Australia Day weekend in 2013, due to the trashing of Byron Bay at New Year, many in the audience said that the Noisy Neighbours Hotline provided by HLO Byron did not work. John Gudgeon later in the year described this security service as a ” work in progress”. Nothing has changed and there has been no improvement. This security service is a complete waste of time. If it is going to be used by holiday let owners it needs a complete overhaul.
    Start by telling the security people to get out of their vehicle and investigate around the holiday let. Legally they should be able to do this if given permission by the owner. Develop standards that are more in line with community standards in quiet residential areas.
    Much more effort is required by holiday let owners and managers to retain residential amenity.

  2. Exactly my feelings. I can verify that HLO Noisy Neighbours Hotline security is ineffectual and plain slack. When their security car pulls up and the person in it leaves the engine running, winds down the window then drives off without getting out of the vehicle then that is flawed investigation. Just slack and a waste of money to the HLO and the holiday let owners. After its introduction about 10 years ago it became obvious that this security service was not going to work and its introduction was a PR stunt. The same as the voluntary code of conduct for the holiday lets with minimal protection for neighbours of HL. Another disaster and PR stunt. The only answer is to move HL out of residential zones. I doubt this will happen.


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