Council puts policy for holiday homes on hold

Plans to introduce a policy for short-term holiday rental accommodation in Shellharbour City have been put on hold by councillors pending further information and a closer look into governance issues.

In 2012, neighbouring Kiama Council adopted a short-term rental accommodation policy after years of agitating by the Kiama community.

It was estimated by Kiama Council staff that one in five homes, or up to 1500 properties, were at some stage leased out to holidaymakers.

The issue was not on Shellharbour Council’s agenda until late last year when the NSW Land and Environment Court ruled that a Barrack Point property could no longer be used for holiday rentals after a neighbouring property owner took legal action.

The Barrack Point house was in an area zoned for low density residential housing.

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said in contrast to hundreds of properties in Kiama, Shellharbour Council only knew of 17 properties that had been advertised as holiday rentals in Shellharbour, although there might be more.

‘‘This is an issue that has been happening all over NSW,’’ Cr Saliba said.

‘‘From our perspective we don’t have any regulations on short-term holiday rentals.

‘‘We want to make sure we get our decision right.’’

Councillors asked staff to have a deeper look into policies in other council areas, in particular the enforcement measures used, to help guide Shellharbour’s new policy.

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