A ROSEBUD resident says the shire’s supposedly tougher “party house” rules are not solving the problem because “no one answers my complaint calls after hours”.
Ken Sapwell says he is being “driven to distraction” by a neighbour’s rowdy guests late into the night, with cars often parked across his driveway and guests even parking on his lawn.
He says another elderly person living across the road is too frightened to step out of her house when party guests arrive. “Last weekend there were 11 cars and only eight could fit on the block, so we had three on my lawn – one across my front gate,” Mr Sapwell said.
“People come and go all night. You’ve no idea.
“I rang compliance twice early on the Sunday morning and got the usual recorded message and then nothing. So, to say there have been no complaints, is just wrong. I’ve been complaining but no one’s listening.”
Mr Sapwell was taking issue with the mayor Cr Bryan Payne’s comments (“New rules winning party house wars”, The News, 10/7/18) that once-noisy party houses had been brought into line by the shire’s tough new regulations – the first of their kind in Victoria.
The main feature of the new rules is a registration system that supposedly identifies owners of properties, or their agents, who must respond to complaints by neighbours within two hours. Shire officers are also supposed to be available to act on irate neighbours’ complaints.
Mr Sapwell says this may work in theory – but is cold comfort when no one at the shire picks up the phone late at night or early morning.
Cr Payne last week said he had not heard of any complaints about party houses during the recent term break – the first school holidays since the Short Stay Rental Accommodation regulations were introduced in April. This confirmed his view that the tougher bylaws were justified.
However, the shire’s community safety coordinator Craig Murray last week said the new laws were in an “implementation phase which is due to be completed by 27 July”.
“Owners are not required to register their property with the shire until the implementation is complete,” he said. “Once owners are required to register their property, they will also be required to provide details to immediate neighbours for a contact who will be required to respond to complaints within two hours.”
Mr Murray said any issues that would normally be reported to the police, such as amplified noise late at night, should still be reported to the police.
He said residents experiencing issues with a short term rentals could call the shire “during business hours”.
To see a copy of the local law and code of conduct, or for owners to register their details, visit mornpen.vic.gov.au/shortstay online.