New penalties for out-of-control party houses

In response to increasing resident concerns, Labor is exploring new legislation to address party houses.

According to industry estimates from the Tourism Accommodation Association, the growth of short-term holiday rentals in South Australia has grown by more than 120% in the past 14 months, with more than 5,800 listings across the State.

However, there has been increasing media reports of some of the listed properties being used as party-houses to host out-of-control parties that disrupt entire neighbourhoods. Common issues reported include:

• Abusive and drunken behaviour on the streets

• Parties with 100+ people attending on a regular basis

• Noise and littering issues

• Allegations of illegal activities and substance abuse

Residents that live next to party houses have had repeated handballing of the issue between SAPOL and local government, as the law is unclear as to who has the power to shut these party houses down.

It has forced some to sell their houses at significant losses or stop having friends and relatives visiting them. Similar to what is proposed in other States, the proposed legislation aim to introduce:

• A state-wide mandatory registration system of all listed short-term holiday rentals

• An industry Code of Conduct

• Penalties for failure to adhere to the code or register a property

An exposure draft of the Bill will now be made available to the public for comment. Members of the public are invited to visit www.zoebettison.com.au/partyhouses and/or email ramsay@parliament.sa.gov.au.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison

The overwhelming majority of people that list their properties are doing the right thing. But there are many residents out there that feel powerless if they live next to a party house.

I have heard shocking stories from people from all over Adelaide that have literally lost sleep over this issue.

There is a clear gap in our legislation to work with this disruptive part of the tourism industry.

We need to protect the people that do the right thing, but also penalise those that have no regard for the community around them.