Wollongong City Council to address short-term rental properties listed on the likes of Stayz and Airbnb

Pictured are examples of homes in Otford and Stanwell Park listed on Airbnb and Stayz. The state government is seeking community feedback on short-term holiday letting.
Pictured are examples of homes in Otford and Stanwell Park listed on Airbnb and Stayz. The state government is seeking community feedback on short-term holiday letting.

An Otford resident says noise disturbance, waste disposal, security and trespassing are among the potential issues affecting residents living near properties listed on websites such as Airbnb. 

Wollongong councillor Jill Merrin submitted a Notice of Motion to the July 31 council meeting, requesting that council receive a report and briefing on short-term stay premises in Wollongong.  

At the meeting, Otford resident Jane Hutt voiced concerns in relation to the rapid spread of informal short-term rentals.

Ms Hutt’s concerns included noise disturbance, increased movements on shared driveways, waste disposal, car parking, security and trespassing. 

Ms Hutt suggested that the Local Environmental Planning zone should be considered in these cases, particularly in E3 zones, with more controls to deal with neighbourhood disruptions.

She said in recent months the impact of a neighbouring property listed on Airbnb, a popular venue for bucks and birthday parties, had become increasingly intrusive.

“The situation was starting to get out of hand for many reasons, and I started to dread Friday afternoons, when the next group of renters would usually arrive. 

“(Short-term stays) are able to generate extra income and these visitors go and spend money in the local area. The problem I feel arises when the owners are not present, and despite putting rules and regulations on rental terms they have absolutely no control, or in many cases no knowledge of any disturbances occurring."

Short-term stays.

Short-term stays.

The ensuing council report will include information on short-term stay premises’ impact on local residential neighbourhoods and neighbouring residents.

It will also include a process for developing council policy to ensure a level of regulation aimed at protecting neighbourhood amenity.

Cr Merrin said other councils had formed policies, and incorporated into their Development Control Plans definitions for short-term rentals. 

The state government is seeking feedback until October 31, after the release of an Options Paper on short-term holiday letting.

Potential options the government is seeking views on include industry self-regulation; and strata regulation, including by-laws managing visitor behaviour, and by-laws for compensation for adverse effects. 

READ MORE: Options paper released on short-term holiday letting industry, including Stayz and Airbnb 

Wollongong City councillor Jill Merrin calls for report on informal short-term stay premises