Short-stay accommodation refers to apartments, houses and rooms rented like hotels and motels, through online providers. They can be booked for days or months.
Legislative changes affecting short-stay apartments
Changes to the Owners Corporations Act 2006 were introduced in February 2019 to help prevent short-term accommodation apartment buildings being used to host unruly parties.
The reforms allow owners corporations and residents to take action against owners and guests, who are now jointly and individually liable for any compensation, fines, and awards for damage to common property.
As most short-stay apartments used to hold unruly parties are booked for up to seven days and six nights, the reforms only affect these bookings. Longer stays are not affected.
Unruly parties at short-stay apartments
The changes permit the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to:
- impose fines of up to $1100 for breaches of the Act
- award compensation of up to $2000 to affected residents for loss of amenity
- stop apartments that have been used for unruly parties from being rented out for short-stay accommodation for a period of time.
Owners corporations will be able to issue breach notices if guests:
- make unreasonable or excessive noise
- interfere with residents’ enjoyment of their lots and/or common property
- create health and safety hazards
- damage a lot or common property, or
- obstruct common property.
Prohibition orders on apartments
If an apartment is issued with three breach notices in a 24-month period, VCAT will be able to make orders restricting that apartment from being let for short-stay purposes for a period of time.
The breach notices must be issued for separate events (rather than a single event which attracts multiple complaints).
Disputes about unruly parties can be resolved using the process set out in the Owners Corporations Act 2006.
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