Complaints Management

Noosa House small tile

The popularity of Noosa as a tourist destination and advent of online booking platforms has increased the number of permanent residential properties being purchased and used for short stay letting.

The lack of local management, together with the creep of visitors into residential neighbourhoods and mix of visitors and permanent residents, has given rise to a number of complaints. As a result, Council has introduced the local law to manage issues arising from short stay letting and provide an avenue for complaints management.

From 1 February 2022 all short stay let properties will need to make an application for approval under the new local law.

Once approved, short stay let properties will be required to display an approval notice at the front of the property (or at a location consistent with body corporate bylaws), including the 24/7 complaints hotline number and approval number. 

Complaints regarding the operation of short stay letting will be managed through a centralised 24/7 complaints hotline. 

Complaints will be made directly to the complaints hotline, which will then notify the property's nominated contact person of the complaint. The contact person must respond to a complaint within 30 minutes of being notified. 

Making a complaint 

24/7 complaints hotline  -  Hotline number (TBA)

All complaints are to be directed to Council’s 24/7 hotline in the first instance.

The hotline will contact the responsible contact person for the property to attend to the complaint within 30 minutes of them receiving the complaint. The hotline will record the complaint details and how the matter was resolved.

A first response to addressing the complaint may include the contact person responsible for the property making phone contact with the guests or attendance at the premises.

The contact person must attend to the complaint until the matter is resolved to the satisfaction of the code of conduct for guest behaviour.

If guests are displaying aggressive or anti-social behaviour the Police may need to be notified to attend the property.

If the contact person does not respond to a complaint or resolve it to the satisfaction of the code of conduct for guest behaviour, the matter may be elevated and notified to Council.

Council’s security services may be dispatched to the premises to observe and record activity at the premises for evidence.

Council’s compliance officers will investigate the matter and whether the contact person acted in accordance with the requirements of the local law and whether there was a breach.

If Council’s investigation determines there was a breach, action may be undertaken and a compliance notice issued to the approval holder for the premises.

Complaints to Council

Complaints directly to Council can be through our online customer request form.

Check if a property has an approval

You can check if a property has an approval via our PD Online portal.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The local law aims to regulate and manage the ongoing use of short stay letting to reduce the impacts on permanent residents and residential amenity through a local management framework and code of conduct for guest behaviour. All short stay let properties will required an approval under the proposed local law, unless identified as an exempt premises. For further information on exempt premises, refer to Fact Sheet 1 – Short Stay Letting.

  • Yes

    A contact person must be nominated for short stay let properties who is responsible for the management and supervision of the premises and dealing with complaints.

  • A contact person may be an individual, a letting agent, property manager, security firm or the like.

  • The contact person:

    • is available 24 hours, 7 days a week;
    • is located within 20 km of the premises;
    • is responsible for supervision, complaints and visitor queries;
    • responds to complaints within 30 minutes;
    • resolves complaints to the satisfaction of the code of conduct for guest behaviour.

    An up to date contact person must be identified at all times.

  • Yes

    An approval notice must prominently and permanently be displayed at the front of the premises and must be visible to members of the public at all times. The approval notice must be 0.2m2 and must specify in letters and numbers not less than 50mm in height: • contact details for complaints; and • the approval number. If the premises forms part of a community titles scheme, the body corporate must be notified of the approval and the contact details for complaints are required at a location that complies with the bylaws.

  • Once approved, short stay let properties will be required to display an approval notice at the front of the property (or at a location consistent with body corporate bylaws), including the 24/7 complaints hotline number and approval number.  

    Approved properties can be searched through Council’s PD online portal

    Council may be notified of properties suspected of operating short stay letting or home hosted accommodation without an approval through our online customer request form.

  • Yes

    The contact person must require guests to comply with the code of conduct for guest behaviour.

    The code of conduct must be displayed in a prominent location within the premises, made available to guests and on websites or social media used to promote the premises.

    Ideally, the contact person should meet and greet guests and explain the requirements of the code of conduct for guest behaviour

  • The code of conduct for guest behaviour outlines minimum behavioural standards for guests to maintain the residential amenity of surrounding permanent residents.

    The code of conduct is a condition of approval and must be adhered to.

    The code of conduct:

    Vehicles to be stored to not cause a nuisance or inconvenience to adjoining premises, and be parked within parking facilities on the premises where provided.

    Use of the premises, including any outdoor area of the premises, for example, an outdoor entertainment area, deck, balcony, swimming pool or spa, must not

    • detrimentally affect the residential amenity (including but not limited to noise, overlooking or light spill) enjoyed by residents adjoining or in the vicinity of the premises; or
    • cause a nuisance (including a noise nuisance); or
    • display unacceptable behaviour, for example loud aggressive behaviour, yelling, screaming, arguing; excessively loud cheering, clapping or singing; or create a level of noise which is in excess of the acceptable levels described by Queensland Government legislation for environmental protection (noise);

    An occupant of the premises must not sleep or camp on the premises in a tent, caravan, campervan or similar facility.

    Pets occupying the premises must be managed and not cause a nuisance (including a noise nuisance).

    General waste (including the separation of recyclable waste) must be placed in a waste container.

    The grounds of the premises are kept in a safe and tidy condition.

  • Yes

    Complaints are always directed to the Council managed 24/7 complaints hotline. The hotline will then notify the contact person responsible for the property of the complaint. The complaints hotline will record the complaint and deal with the contact person.

    The complaints number is displayed on the front of the premises, or if in a community titles scheme, in a location consistent with the body corporate bylaws.

  • A valid complaint is where the operation of the short stay let or home hosted accommodation property is not complying with their conditions of approval, including the code of conduct for guest behavior.  

    The conditions of approval that need to be met for short stay letting can be viewed here

    The conditions of approval that need to be met for home hosted accommodation can be viewed here

    The code of conduct

    Vehicles to be stored to not cause a nuisance or inconvenience to adjoining premises, and be parked within parking facilities on the premises where provided.

    Use of the premises, including any outdoor area of the premises, for example, an outdoor entertainment area, deck, balcony, swimming pool or spa, must not—

    • detrimentally affect the residential amenity (including but not limited to noise, overlooking or light spill) enjoyed by residents adjoining or in the vicinity of the premises; or
    • cause a nuisance (including a noise nuisance); or
    • display unacceptable behavior (for example loud aggressive behaviour; yelling, screaming, arguing; excessively loud cheering, clapping or singing; or create a level of noise which is in excess of the acceptable levels described by Queensland Government legislation for environmental protection (noise))

    An occupant of the premises must not sleep or camp on the premises in a tent, caravan, campervan or similar facility.

    Pets occupying the premises must be managed and not cause a nuisance (including a noise nuisance).

    General waste (including the separation of recyclable waste) must be placed in a waste container.

    The grounds of the premises are kept in a safe and tidy condition.

  • When a contact person receives a complaint, they must respond within 30 minutes.

    A first response to addressing the complaint may include the contact person responsible for the property making phone contact with the guests or attendance at the premises.

    The contact person must attend to the complaint until the matter is resolved to the satisfaction of the code of conduct for guest behaviour.

    If guests are displaying aggressive or anti-social behaviour the Police may need to be notified to attend the property.

    Note: The complaints hotline will attempt to notify the contact person 3 times over a 30 minute period. If the contact person does not respond this will be recorded and compliance action will be undertaken by Council.

  • If the contact person does not respond to a complaint or resolve it to the satisfaction of the code of conduct for guest behaviour, the matter may be elevated and notified to Council.

    Council’s security services may be dispatched to the premises to observe and record activity at the premises for evidence.

    Council’s compliance officers will investigate the matter and whether the contact person acted in accordance with the requirements of the local law and whether there was a breach.

    If Council’s investigation determines there was a breach, action may be undertaken and a compliance notice issued to the approval holder for the premises.

  • In the first instance all complaints are directed to the contact person to remedy. If a complaint is elevated to Council then the following process is undertaken.

    STEP 1

    Council investigation

    Council investigates the substantiated complaint and any breaches against the conditions of approval under the local law.

    The investigation may include contacting the complainant, neighbours, contact person /approval holder, review of security evidence provided and attendance at the property.

    The investigation will assess whether the contact person acted in accordance with the requirements of the local law when determining if a breach was made.

    STEP 2

    Compliance notice

    Under section 26 of Administration Local Law No. 1, Council may issue a compliance notice to the approval holder outlining the contravention against the local law or condition of approval.

    The notice will outline a timeframe for remedying the contravention and a maximum penalty for failing to comply.

    If the approval holder does not comply with the notice a fine will be issued with a maximum penalty of 5 units.

    Note: Fines may also be issued without issuing a compliance notice where circumstances warrant.

    STEP 3

    Show Cause Notice

    In extreme circumstances, under section 17 of Administration Local Law No. 1, Council may take action to amend, suspend or cancel an approval for short stay letting, including if the approval holder has not complied with the conditions of approval.

    Before taking action, Council will issue the approval holder with a written notice stating the proposed action and the grounds, facts and circumstances of the proposed action, and if a suspension of the approval – the proposed suspension period.

    STEP 4

    Approval holder submission

    The approval holder may make a written submission to Council within 21 days of being issued the notice detailing why the proposed action should not be taken by Council. Council will consider any submission made by the approval holder before deciding whether to amend, suspend or cancel the approval. A written notice will be issued to the approval holder of Council’s decision.

    STEP 5

    Council decision to immediately amend, suspend or cancel approval

    Under section 19 of Administration Local Law No.1 Council may immediately suspend an approval if there is an urgent and serious threat to public safety or urgent and serious risk of environmental harm,property damage or loss of amenity.

    Council will issue a notice to the approval holder about the decision to immediately suspend the approval.

    Note: Approval renewal

    The approval for short stay letting is renewed annually by the approval holder. In considering the renewal, the applicant’s history in the operation of short stay letting or home hosted accommodation at the premises or other premises and any suspensions or cancellations will be considered.

  • The contact person must keep and maintain a written record of each complaint received including:

    • the details of the complaint;
    • date and time of the complaint; and
    • how it was resolved or addressed.

    The contact person must keep and maintain a register of each occasion the premises was used for short stay letting, the number of guests including the number of adults and occupants under 18.

    The written record of complaints and the guest register must be kept for 2 years and be made available for inspection by Council within 5 business days of a written request by Council.

     

  • More information is available on how the local law applies to Short Stay Letting and Home Hosted Accommodation.

    There is also information on Making an Application.