Posted on 01 Feb 2019
VCAT is now resolving short stay accommodation disputes, with new laws commencing on 1 February 2019.
Changes to the Owners Corporation Act 2006 enable VCAT to determine short stay accommodation disputes. The changes were made by the Owners Corporations Amendment (Short-stay Accommodation) Act 2018.
A short stay accommodation arrangement is a lease or licence of up to 7 days and 6 nights that allows someone to stay in a unit, apartment or lot managed by an owners corporation.
The new laws prohibit certain conduct, which may include:
- making excessive noise
- creating a hazard
- interfering with others’ use of common property
- causing damage to a lot or common property.
What VCAT can do
When it is proved that a short stay occupant engaged in prohibited conduct, VCAT can make orders that might include:
- stopping the apartment from being rented out for short-stay accommodation for a specific period. We can only do this when the owners corporation has issued 3 breach notices within 24 months
- compensation of up to $2000 to each affected resident for each breach. These applications should be made within 60 days. If awarding compensation, VCAT must consider whether the total amount to be paid to all applicants for compensation is in proportion to the harm caused by the conduct
- fines of up to $1100 for the short stay provider and/or the short stay occupant.
Who can apply
We can accept applications about short stay accommodation from:
- the owners corporation
- a lot owner, including on behalf of the owners corporation, or a former lot owner
- an occupier – for example, tenants
- an agent provider - a person who, for a fee, arranges or manages short-stay accommodation on behalf of a lot owner, lessee or sub-lessee.
The behaviour that led to the dispute must have happened on or after 1 February 2019.
Applicants need to provide evidence about the alleged behaviour and the harm it caused.
To find out more about making an application, see our Owners Corporations - Disputes about breaches of the Act, regulations and rules page.