Recently, over the Christmas/New Year holiday period I had to formally contact the Short Stay accommodation property management organisation regarding several immediate and ongoing issues I have with a neighbouring Short Stay accommodation property. Consistently, these management organisations do not want to hear complaints associated with their Short Stay accommodation properties. More so, the owners of the properties live outside the shire and rarely visit. They simply snub their nose at any challenge or authority and they never contact me to discuss these issues.
I have written to and approached the council, including the Mayor, but as they do not have any local laws in place, they are not particularly interested in my problems. It would appear that senior management, not the elected ward councillors, run the Shire.
We, as residents are expected to accept this situation. Council empowers these property owners by allowing this uncontrolled and unregulated situation to continue.
There is no accountability.To achieve the necessary and immediate implementation of local laws/regulations/codes of conduct governing Short Stay accommodation – residents of the Hepburn Shire who are affected by or potentially affected by neighbouring Short Stay accommodation properties – need to collectively challenge the Hepburn Shire Council.
The Yarra Ranges, Mornington, Frankston and Bass Shires have implemented strict local laws, regulations and codes of conduct to administer the Short Stay accommodation properties within their respective shires. Their precise intention is to protect neighbourhoods and residents from anti-social behaviours and amenity loss issues caused by Short Stay accommodation properties.
Council has no immediate plans to implement laws/regulations/codes of conduct to protect neighbourhoods from anti-social behaviours and amenity loss issues. The Short Stay property owners are not legally bound or obligated to do anything, but they collect exorbitant and lucrative holiday rental incomes. Planning laws and regulations relating to the establishment of Short Stay accommodation properties, also needs to be amended.
The state government has a role to play. The Hepburn Shire has not introduced any laws, regulations, codes of conduct primarily because the state government has not legislated or directed accordingly. If there is enough community pressure, Hepburn Shire must act. Planning laws and regulations relating to the approval and establishment of Short Stay accommodation properties, also need to be amended.
In order to gain some momentum to force the necessary change and to further understand the depth of the current situation with Short Stay accommodation within the Hepburn Shire, I would like to hear from those community residents that have been or are currently affected by neighbouring Short Stay accommodation properties.
If any community residents have any relevant issues or specific opinion relating to Short Stay accommodation within the Hepburn Shire, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org