Dec 092014
 

Investors may need to think twice before letting out their property for short term holiday lettings.  A home owner on the NSW Central Coast was fed up with noisy parties next door.  The house was let to short term tenants for parties, involving, “loud music, flashing lights, bucks and hens nights "(sometimes involving strippers, or worse)"”, often extending into the early hours of the morning. The Council refused to act, so the Dobrohotoffs sought – and obtained – an injunction restraining Mrs Bennic’s use of the property for short term letting, because the use was not permitted by the planning law.

If you rent your holiday house for short term lettings in a council area you should check whether “holiday rentals/accommodation” or “temporary short term accommodation” are defined in the planning instruments. If these terms are defined, the Local Environment Plan will set out whether they are permissible and if so, on what conditions. If these terms are not defined, then you may need development consent for that use.

This legal limbo for holiday home owners that rely on short term lettings, through sites such as stayz.com.au, should be alleviated.  Local councils that have not already done so are planning to release new LEPs, so that short term holiday lettings will be permitted, subject to conditions.

The lesson is, contact Peter McNamara about the permitted uses of your property before purchase, particularly if you bargain on generating income from particular uses.

Click the link below to read Dobrohotoff v Bennic [2013] NSWLEC 61 in full:

 http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/nsw/NSWLEC/2013/61.html

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