Petition launched to give owners more powers against short-stays

Petition launched to give owners more powers against short-stays
Sean Car

Victorian Liberal MP Georgie Crozier has endorsed a petition led by a group of inner-city residents calling on tougher laws on short-stay accommodation to be introduced by the state government.

The petition, which at the time of publishing had 114 signatures, is the latest effort by strata residents in Melbourne demanding the Victorian Government reform the Owners’ Corporation Act 2006 to provide greater protection for owners.

Tabled in the Victorian Legislative Council with the support of Southern Metropolitan MP and Shadow Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Georgie Crozier, the petition requests that owners’ corporations (OCs) not only be allowed to make rules on short-stays but have the option to allow them in their building at all.  

“[We] call on the government to amend the Owners Corporations Act 2006 to allow OCs to have the option to decide whether short-term accommodation is allowed in their building, including but not limited to all past, present, and future short-term accommodation, made effective by a 75 per cent democratic vote by owners,” it stated.

“The constant parties, antisocial behaviour, noise, and loss of amenities that residents are suffering from all over Victoria is taking up unnecessary resources in VCAT, local government and Victoria Police. A simple change to the Owners Corporation Act 2006 will free up a lot of government resources and improve residents’ wellbeing and safety.”

“Owners should not have to spend years in a slow VCAT system, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, while simultaneously suffering through noise and anti-social behaviour that impacts sleep and mental health on a weekly basis.”

“Sections 159A to 159F of the Owners Corporation Act 2006 need to include a section allowing OCs the right to democratically limit or ban short-term rentals within their own building, taking back control over their own homes.”

Despite cities around the world having managed to regulate short-stays, it said Victoria still had the “weakest laws” in Australia, with municipalities around the state including Mornington Peninsula forced to introduce their own rules to curb short-stay issues.

In a recent column for CBD News in 2023, strata lobby group We Live Here said the Victorian community had “been suffering eight years of government inertia” and called on the following reforms:

  • a state-wide registration system;
  • the government to allow owners’ corporations to make rules on shorts stays;
  • the government to implement an annual day cap; and
  • realistic and enforceable penalties.

“In 2015 the government promised to address only the party issue and even for that modest aspiration it has failed dismally,” a We Live Here spokesperson said.

“The so-called ‘Airbnb party’ Act has proven ineffective. Of the 50 cases brought before VCAT, none have been successful. The problem has persisted and indeed worsened.”

 

Photo by Jon Tyson.

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