Victims Of Holiday Letting (VOHL) congratulate Byron Shire Council for lifting the four year moratorium on prosecution of unauthorised tourist and visitor accommodation (illegal holiday letting) at the June 22 General Meeting.
VOHL has always lobbied council to prosecute, including in the NSW Land and Environment Court (LEC).
Holiday letting is development without consent and undermines State Planning legislation. This has been confirmed by numerous LEC cases including the benchmark Dobrohotoff vs Bennic case in 2013.
VOHL estimates that there are over 2,000 illegal holiday lets in our shire.
This includes a growing number of whole houses let through AirBnB, Stayz and other operators, leading to an even smaller supply of permanent rental accommodation.
This is further damaging our residential areas and our social fabric. One aspect of this was shown in recent ABC News reports with an emphasis on homeless women in Byron shire.
We commend council for its June 22 resolution, which includes issuing notices to real estate agents, letting agents, website hosts and tenants, to gather information about the illegal use of a holiday let.
VOHL has worked constructively with council in developing its policy of regulation and is disappointed that State Government, through The Parliamentary Counsel, has removed many of the protections we saw introduced to protect residents and their right to peaceful enjoyment of their homes.
Why is it that what’s good enough for Gosford Council is not good enough for Byron Shire Council? We have not seen any explanation.
VOHL advises residents who are affected by an illegal holiday let to lodge a complaint with Council Compliance when any incident of damage to their residential amenity occurs.
Contact council by phone on 6626 7000 or email [email protected]
Doug Luke, coordinator, VOHL