16 Apr Understand The Proposed Noosa Short Stay Local Law
Noosa short stay letting, including properties will require a one-off approval under the proposed local law unless identified as exempt (as per the definitions provided).
The approval must be renewed annually while Noosa short stay letting continues to operate. Approval is required if the premises is used for STA on a permanent ongoing basis.
Local Law is different to recent Noosa Town Plan changes
Through our previous communications, our owners will be aware of recent changes to the Noosa Town Plan that make STA developments that do not have an Existing Use Right to operate as a STA property, an Inconsistent Use in the Low-Density Residential zone.
These recent Noosa Plan 2020 changes are different, but related to, the proposed local law.
The Noosa Plan regulates if a property has the right to operate as an STA. The proposed Local Law encompasses the required application and renewal process to do so, along with the rules for the operation of an STA property and the Code of Conduct guests must adhere to.
To gain approval under through the Local Law, one of the criteria is that a property must demonstrate that it has that right to operate as STA, under the Noosa Plan 2020 provisions. This can be done through statements that demonstrate a consistent use as STA prior to the Noosa Plan 2020.
In November 2019, Council publicly notified a previously proposed local law for Noosa short stay letting.
At that time, and on behalf of our owners, we submitted detailed feedback to Council regarding the proposed laws, that were described by many as draconian and inoperable.
Based on our submission, and hundreds of other submissions, Council now advises that a revised local law has now been prepared proposing a number of changes, having considered public submissions, legal advice, stakeholder engagement and internal staff review.
Why is a local law proposed?
We have always supported measures to ensure that a required level of good behaviour is exhibited by guests when staying in Noosa. As specialist professional property managers, we already represent best practice when it comes to managing properties to reduce the impacts of guest stays on neighbouring residencies.
Many of the provisions being introduced in the new local law, we already routinely do, as licensed and qualified professionals. These include things like having contact numbers on properties for residents to call if there is an issue, after hours security. Our ownership group are all based in Noosa and we are personally on-call, 24/7 365 days a year to manage any issue that arise.
However, some STA properties in Noosa are not professionally managed. This means that a party house situation might occur causing threat to an owner’s asset or disturbance to the local community.
The proposed local law attempts to address these situations by applying a blanket set of rules, irrespective of whether a property is professionally managed or not.
Code of Conduct
The Law proposes that the following guest Code of Conduct must be displayed in a prominent position in the property.
o vehicles to be stored to not cause a nuisance or inconvenience to adjoining premises, and be parked within parking facilities on the premises where provided;
o use of the premises, including any outdoor area of the premises, for example, an outdoor deck, balcony, swimming pool or spa, must not—
- detrimentally affect the residential amenity (including but not limited to noise, overlooking or light spill) enjoyed by residents in the vicinity of the premises; or
- cause a nuisance (including a noise nuisance); or
- display unacceptable behaviour, for example—
- loud aggressive behaviour; yelling, screaming, arguing;
- excessively loud cheering, clapping or singing; or
o create a level of noise which is in excess of the acceptable levels described by Queensland Government legislation for environmental protection (noise);
o an occupant of the premises must not sleep or camp on the premises in a tent, caravan, campervan or similar facility;
o pets occupying the premises must be managed and not cause a nuisance (including a noise nuisance);
o general waste (including the separation of recyclable waste) must be placed in a waste container;
o the grounds of the premises, are kept in a safe and tidy condition.
We will be making a submission to Council and we encourage owners to consider carefully what is being proposed and to make individual submission should you have any concerns.
The Local Law will impose additional administration both through an initial application and through an annual renewal, that owners can either managing directly, or engage with us to assist. Given the Council application process is yet to be established, additional fees may be applicable if we are to assist owners to manage this process.
The renewal process
One of the main areas of concern that we are seeking clarification on, is with regards to the renewal process. No detail seems to be provided regarding the criteria for Council approval of a renewal application.
For example, if a property has had a certain number of complaints to Council from neighbours throughout the year, will its approval not be renewed?
This was a stated provision in the previous version of the local law but seems to be omitted in this version. We will be asking Council to therefore clarify if this is still the intent.
Have your say
Council advises that submissions must be received on or before Friday 14 May 2021 and may be sent to here or PO Box 141, Tewantin 4565.
A full version of the proposed local laws, including a plain English version, fact sheets and public interest test plan can be viewed at Council’s office at 9 Pelican Street, Tewantin and Strategic Planning Office at 3 Pelican Street, Tewantin.
Feel free to get in touch
If you do have any concerns relating to what is being proposed, or would like us to reflect your feedback in our submission, please contact us here.
Please note: This communication is advisory and does not constitute legal opinion or advice. Owners are encouraged to seek independent legal opinion.