It was a great day in the Victorian Parliament on Tuesday for all residents and owners in strata communities.
After parliamentary debate and strong opposition, the Owners Corporation Amendment (Short Stay Accommodation) Bill 2016 has been referred to Environment and Planning Committee for inquiry.
This parliamentary vote has stopped the Victorian government trying to introduce a bill that only supported commercial short-stay operators in residential buildings.
This is a huge win for the "we live here" Movement who have been working tirelessly with politicians from both sides of Parliament to achieve this outcome.
A special thank-you to the Liberals, especially The Hon David Davis, Shadow Minister for Planning, Russell Northe, Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs, along with Nina Springle from the Greens and Fiona Patton from the Sex Party who all supported the “we live here” Movement on this issue.
The "We live here" policy on regulating the short-stay industry including Airbnb and other ‘sharing economy’ business practices in residential buildings.
Definitions: Short-stay means a lease or licence for a period of less than 30 days
Permitted provided that the occupier is living in the property throughout the guest stay – no minimum length of stay.
Maximum of 49 days per year with a minimum of 7 days per letting period
Permitted with a minimum stay of 30 days in line with standard-form residential tenancy agreements and Commonwealth tax legislation.
14 October 2016
With the Election Campaign underway and to canvas the opinion of candidates on the issue of short-stays “we live here” sent a questionnaire to all 58 candidates for Lord Mayor and Councillor.
All candidates who responded, apart from the Stephen Mayne team, have shown a positive level of support for the “we live here” policies on regulating commercial short-stay operators. This is great news for apartment owners and residents.
We ask that you think carefully before casting your votes to ensure that we have a Council truly committed to working for all who live and work in this city.
We would like to thank all our supporters who attended the forum at parliament house on Wednesday evening.
2 September, 2016
At a high-powered function in the State Parliament’s Federation Room on Wednesday night, attended by 80 supporters of the “we live here” Movement representing 140 metropolitan Owners Corporations, MPs from both the Liberal Party and the Greens pledged to do more for Owners Corporations suffering from the effects of rampant commercialised short-stay letting.
The Supporters Forum, moderated by keynote speaker and prominent barrister, Timothy Margetts QC, provided an opportunity for analysis and debate following a Supreme Court decision in July which determined that Owners Corporations had insufficient powers to enforce Rules designed to regulate short-term letting activities within its building.
22 July 2016
(paragraph 1(c) of decision).
In a decision released today at 10am, Supreme Court Justice Riordan invalidated an original rule created by the Developer of the Watergate building, meaning that Owners Corporations throughout Victoria are unable to prohibit owners from letting out their units to short-term guests.
Justice Riordan said (at Paragraph 178) “In my opinion, the prohibition of businesses generally and specifically businesses related to short-term letting exceeded the scope of what was intended by the Parliament in enacting the Owners Corporation Act 2006…”
Barbara Francis, Chairperson of the Watergate Owners Corporation and a director of the We Live Here advocacy group said,
“At last the State Government has now been provided with definitive guidance by the Supreme Court about what it needs to do in order to protect owners, residents and the Hotel industry.
“We listened to our owners, 95% of whom supported us to pass a Special Resolution to file the Supreme Court action. We had a mandate given to us to take on the unregulated short-stay accommodation industry, who do not pay their fair share of repairs and
maintenance, and who care nothing for the owners and residents that live in the buildings where they operate their businesses. We call on the government to listen to owners and residents, and to change the laws before it is too late."
Stop our homes from being destroyed by the unregulated short-stay industry.
Sign the “we live here” petition & have your voice heard!
We Live Here is a recently launched advocacy and lobby movement focussing on generating legislative change to protect owners and long-term residents living in high-density areas. The movement aims to give a voice to and protect the rights of these owners and long term residents, and to tackle issues that are not being adequately addressed.