OWNERS of so-called “party houses” on the Mornington Peninsula will be in for a tougher time if a new local law gets the nod.
The proposal, which the shire says is the first of its kind in the state, will introduce a registration system for owners of short stay rental accommodation and requires them to nominate an appointed agent who must respond to neighbours’ complaints within two hours.
A code of conduct will govern the number of occupants and establish expectations for their behaviour, as well as setting rules on car parking and rubbish disposal.
The aim of the proposed law is to address the impacts of anti-social behaviour by occupants of short stay rental accommodation properties across the peninsula.
It follows complaints each summer by neighbouring residents about rowdy tenants who ruin their weekends with late-night noise and alcohol-fuelled aggression.
Penalties will be imposed for breaches of the Local Law and the Code of Conduct.
The mayor Cr Bev Colomb said the council had been working with residents and authorities for 12 months to develop plans for a “co-operative approach to prevent anti-social behaviour and to specifically address local conditions and reflect local concerns”.
“Council acknowledges the input of the local community, short term rental accommodation operators, as well as that of Victoria police and industry representatives from STAYZ, Air BnB, Holiday Shacks and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Tourism Board,” she said.
Cr Colomb said that while most business owners took a responsible approach to the letting of their properties, a range of issues could cause “significant disruption to neighbouring properties and operators should be held responsible for the behaviour of their customers”.
“Problems reported … include anti-social behaviour of occupants, loud noise late into the night, car parking congestion and poor rubbish disposal, which is not acceptable in residential areas.”
A well run short stay rental accommodation market is acknowledged as vital for peninsula tourism. The mayor said the local law would “bring [the industry] more in line with commercial accommodation options”.
“The [proposed law] will result in better and more responsible management of these accommodation options and improve amenity to our residents and visitors,” she said.
The Short Stay Rental Accommodation Local Law (Draft) is on display until 5pm, Friday 7 December, at mornpen.vic.gov.au/haveyoursay.