Doug Luke, VOHL Coordinator
On Tuesday, 27 October, NSW Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson, introduced the Short-Term Rental Accommodation Code of Conduct.
On the same date, an ABC news article attributed these comments to the Minister: ‘“Vexatious complainants will go through checks and balances,” he said.
“We know some people just don’t like having short-term holiday rentals nextdoor to them”.’
Victims of Holiday Letting (VOHL) was appalled at the Minister’s comments. It reminded us ‘vexatious complainant’ is the favourite term used by many Byron Shire holiday let owners to justify themselves when complaints are made. Holiday letting is still illegal in Byron LGA (local government area) Residential Zones without development consent. There are still a number of these owners/managers who fail to vet their occupants or to have ongoing management to prevent occupants from disrupting residential amenity.
VOHL has always advised neighbours of holiday lets to contact the local police when there is offensive noise or other damage to their residential amenity. Next morning, contact the police again and ask for information about what was done, request a CAD (computer aided dispatch) report number and report this information to Byron Council enforcement. This is the best form of evidence to lodge a complaint about host/guests to the secretariat that will administer the Code of Conduct.
VOHL advises neighbours to not use the HLO Byron ‘A Quiet Time’ (previously called a Noisy Neighbours Hotline). VOHL members have consistently complained that the NSW legal standard for offensive noise is not applied by them. On some occasions it has been witnessed that inadequate investigation has been undertaken by the security officer.
VOHL does recognise that there are some responsible and conscientious hosts/managers who properly vet their guests and have effective ongoing management and want to protect residential amenity who make themselves contactable 24/7.