In May 2018, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council adopted the Short Stay Rental Accommodation Local Law which we, as providers of large group accommodation welcome. At first, this may seem like a strange stance to take, as many would assume that our interests are diametrically opposed to those of Council and Permanent residents. Nothing could be further from the truth, as it is vital for the survival of the short stay rental industry to be good local citizens.

The short term rental economy is a huge contributor to the Mornington Peninsula and similar regions. Each year an estimated 1.6 million people stay overnight when visiting the Peninsula. The Local Law and Code of Conduct aim to balance the rights and expectations of the local community with the much welcome economic boon of a large number of visitors.

The Code of Conduct introduces controls that aim to: prevent large volumes of cars parked on public streets, enforce avoidance of use of outdoor areas between 11pm and 7am, appropriate disposal of waste, and which sanctions antisocial or unacceptable behaviour. Such behaviour includes loud clapping, yelling, swearing, and aggressive behaviour. While no direct mention is made of alcohol or drug fueled behaviour, it is a welcome feature for sensible property owners to have the backing of Council to be able to enforce quiet civilised behaviour at their properties. The alternative is the much-maligned party house which results in angry neighbours, property damage and loss of amenity to local residents.

What now remains is for the short term rental website to allow owners to sanction renters for breaches of the Code of Conduct. In the past AirBNB has favoured the renter in all disputes, meaning that even the cost of property damage is near impossible to claim from renters in the event of a disputed claim. We would welcome the ability to fine renters from their Bond money for breaches of this Local Law, commensurate with the penalties which can be levied on the owners.