RHGA recent decision in the Land and Environment Court should be reviewed by landlords who rent their property for short-term stays to ensure the use of the property is not in breach of the Local Environmental Plan for the area.

The case of Dobrohotoff v. Bennic determined that the renting of a house to party goers for short-term stays was not a permitted residential dwelling use in the Gosford local government area.

The house, located in a beachside residential suburb, was usually rented out for weekends and week long stays. The neighbour brought the claim against the owner of the property after the neighbour’s complaints about late night parties and loud events such as buck’s & hen’s nights were ignored.

The neighbour’s case was brought on the basis that the house was not being used as a dwelling house as the short-term occupation by temporary tenants was inconsistent with the concept of a “dwelling”. The neighbour argued that the use was more akin to tourist accommodation, which was not permitted in the residential zone.

The owner of the house submitted that they had rented the property for short-term stays for a number of years, as had the previous owner.

The court determined that whilst renting of a property to a family or group as a genuine holiday house for periods of over one week would be permitted within the zoning, the use of the property for parties and functions was not a valid use of a dwelling house.

The decision is a timely warning, as we approach the holiday season, for landlords to check their local council zoning restrictions to ensure their rental properties are being utilized for an approved purpose. It is also important to note that the responsibility for complying with council zonings lies with the landlord, and not their real estate agent.

If you are considering purchasing an investment property, it is important that you advise your solicitor if you are intending to rent the property for short-term stays so that the necessary enquiries can be made of council before committing to the purchase. The Property Team at Everingham Solomons is well equipped to assist you with these zoning issues becauseHelping You is Our Business.

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