Self-assessment considered for Gold Coast Party Houses

The Gold Coast City Council has considered plans to let apartment and unit owners self-assess whether their lot can be let out for short-term accommodation purposes, contrary to existing regulations and by-laws put in place by bodies corporate.

save-the-date-edm-september-2016 In a recent parliament sitting Mermaid Beach Member of Parliament Ray Stevens spoke on the plans of Council. "It is obvious to my mind that of course owners would find the proposed self regulation suitable for making a quick buck at the cost of local amenity, enjoyment and the comfort of Gold Coast residents,”  Mr Stevens said in the sitting.

“This would nullify legislation introduced in May 2015 which enabled local councils to enforce restrictions on short-term holiday letting in residential and business areas. This would, in effect, roll back the effective protections in place that I and many Gold Coast and Mermaid Beach constituents campaigned long and hard to get.”

The core deliverables of the regulations introduced in 2015 were to safeguard apartment and unit owners on the Gold Coast from issues like property damage, overcrowding, insurance voiding and related instances of crime. Historically, strata communities on the Gold Coast have had a tough time maintaining community harmony through holiday times and that’s why the regulations were introduced.

Since then, Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate has publicly said that temporary local planning regulations had worked very well to stop party houses, and was reported saying incidents were at an all-time low. The Gold Coast hosts at any given time, a minimum of 52,000 visitors and with major tourism events like the 2018 Commonwealth Games ahead, the last thing we need to see is partying once again disrupting residential communities.The issue has been of constant concern to communities in the Broadbeach Waters, Mermaid Waters and Clear Island Waters suburbs for over 10 years as they bore the brunt of regular, unruly, unacceptable behaviours exhibited at party houses, with every resident having their own uniquely horrifying experience. 

In essence, the proposal would allow for a self-assessment process to be introduced on short-term accommodation so an individual owner can self-assess whether their property is able to be let as a short-term accommodation rental—a potential party house—or not. The laws are not about regulating every party. They are only directed at regulating residential premises that are being used as a commercial venue for accommodation or facilities that are regularly used by guests for parties. The implementation of these provisions was optional for local governments.

Some common areas of complaint regarding party houses are excessive noise, traffic and parking hazards, offensive social behaviour and littering.

Because of the significant community concern regarding party houses in residential areas on the Gold Coast, the City implemented these provisions through a temporary local planning instrument. Temporary Local Planning Instrument No. 1 (Party houses) 2015 for the 2003 planning scheme was adopted on 5 May 2015.

It was the introduction of the TLPI in May 2015, brought about by clear legislative changes giving powers to local councils to enforce restrictions on short-term holiday letting businesses in residential areas.

Access the New Regulation (TLPI 2) here:

Posted 2016-09-19