The peak local holiday letting industry organisation has refuted claims from residents adversely impacted by the activity, specifically around its legality.
Doug Luke from Victims of Holiday Letting recently told The Echo, ‘Holiday letting is still illegal in Byron LGA (local government area) Residential Zones without development consent’.
Yet HLO Byron president, John Gudgeon, says it never has been illegal.
‘It was always an innominate residential use as is longterm renting’.
‘This simply means that, while it was not specifically contained in the list of definitions in the Standard Instrument Local Environment Plan (SILEP), it is very much a legal residential use.
‘Mr Luke then gives advice not to use Quiet Hotline (QHL) the noisy neighbour service which, as he says, was previously administered by HLO Byron.
‘Most people who use this service, which has operated for 15 years, are grateful that they can get a prompt response to incidents in properties registered on QHL. This includes all properties [managed] by professional property managers, but unfortunately not all independently managed.
‘Any complaints relating to unregistered properties are directed to the police on behalf of the caller. The police have not got the resources to prioritise all noise complaints, so understandably cannot give the response of QHL.
‘Quiet Hotline provides a response-and-reporting system on behalf of property managers and owners relating to non-compliant behaviour by their guests.
‘[Mr Luke’s] comments about vexatious complainants is somewhat relevant, as the system will quickly identify any abuse.
‘However, the patrol still attends and notifies the occupant that a complaint was made, whatever the circumstances.
‘For the record, there have been very few callers that have been identified as vexatious over the years. Most use the service responsibly.
‘Given that STRA has been recognised by the NSW Government as a legitimate and important contributor to the visitor economy, it is perhaps time that those who have crusaded for so long against its very existence accepted this reality’.
Mr Gudgeon also pointed to the new short-term rental accommodation (STRA) code of conduct, which was recently released by the NSW government. He says, ‘Mr Luke is quoted as saying: “The Code states that a host or the host’s authorised representative must be contactable within ordinary hours, 8am to 5pm daily”.’
Mr Gudgeon referred to the code’s section on who to contact during ordinary hours, and outside hours.
‘2.4.4: A host, or the host’s authorised representative, must be contactable within ordinary hours to manage guests, the premises, neighbourhood complaints and other issues related to use of the premises.
‘2.4.5: A host, or the host’s authorised representative, must be contactable outside ordinary hours to deal with emergencies’.
Mr Luke was contacted ut no reply was provided by deadline.