Is a bed tax the way to go for Noosa controlling shprt stay letting?
Is a bed tax the way to go for Noosa controlling shprt stay letting?

Noosa needs a bed tax ‘to pay for short term stay security’

NOOSA’S approach to short-term stays is likely to damage the economy according to a local property manager who believes the answer to helping solve amenity issues could be a bed-tax to bankroll on-call security.

Dave Langdon of Aspire Property Management is opposed to proposed “draconian” Noosa Council measures to help manage this increasingly populare form of letting.

“It is clear that the changes, taken in their entirety, will damage the economy, take away home-owners’ freedom of choice, and potentially damage future property values,” Mr Langdon said.

“The real estate industry has genuine concerns about poorly run short-term let properties, and we 100 per cent agree that action must be taken to ensure Noosa’s attractiveness as a tourist destination, that many individuals and businesses rely on, is maintained.

“But it’s neither healthy, nor in line with the spirit of Noosa’s strong community ethos, for individuals to be encouraged to ‘dob-in a neighbour’, which is the basis of how the policing of the new laws are supposed to work.”

He said council needs to work with industry and stakeholders to solve “the issues at hand.”

“Our biggest concern is that there will be a lot of damage without actually doing much to address the issues,” he said.

“The problem is only with poorly managed properties, not properties that are professionally managed by local businesses.”

One of his main submissions to the council feedback process on short-term stays which closed on Monday, was a bed-tax “to fund an industry contribution for a security firm to provide after-hours assistance for residents, to address issues of poorly managed properties”.

“How much better would it be for a local resident facing an immediate issue like a noisy party next door at 2am, in an un-managed property, to be able to get direct and immediate help from a professional security team,” he said.

Mr Langdon said there is a “great opportunity for council to take a positive world-leading approach on this growing issue and look at a range of innovative solutions that nurture the community, not split it”.

“There is genuine uncertainly, confusion and concern around these laws and how they can be fairly implemented,” he said.

“You cannot propose to remove an income stream from the town, without letting ratepayers know how you intend to replace it with something else,” Mr Langdon said.

He also proposes to:

  • Develop a more sensible and practical code of conduct to address the actual issue of poorly managed properties, without adversely affecting responsible owners, responsible property managers and the local economy.
  • Redirect the significant resources that will be required to implement the laws towards working with industry to develop specific and measurable outcomes and timeframes for poorly managed properties to be better managed.
  • Create a mandatory education program of two half day sessions to cover best practice methods of management to educate operators both big and small.

Noosa Council’s short-stay proposal:

In response to a significant number of submissions to the draft New Noosa Plan on short term accommodation, a local law is now proposed to manage the operation of short stay letting of residential properties.

In addition to the proposed local law, the new Noosa Plan will additionally regulate where short stay letting can and cannot occur and identify when a development approval is required.

Short stay letting is where a residential property is made available, on a commercial basis, for use by one or more persons other than the owner for a period of less than 3 consecutive months.

The proposed local law will regulate the operation of short stay letting. The proposed local law will:

. regulate the day to day operations of short stay letting for matters including occupancy,

. residential amenity, parking, waste and use of outdoor areas;

. require the nomination of a responsible person managing the short stay letting;

introduce a code of conduct;

. identify when an annual approval is required to operate short stay letting;

specify all the documents and materials that must be submitted with the application for approval.