Airbnb ‘too noisy’

A TWO-YEAR Airbnb dispute has been settled, with the State Administrative Tribunal telling a Perth homeowner it’s too noisy to rent out his cottage. 

Boaz Kogon lives overseas and started advertising his 8 Moir Street cottage on WA short-term rental site Abode BNB in 2017.

Vincent council soon found out and insisted he put in a retrospective application, but that was knocked back over neighbours’ concerns about noise, parking and traffic (“Airbnb battle”, Voice, April 6, 2019).

Mr Kogon appealed to the SAT, but it ruled in favour of the council on October 2, noting the “immediate vicinity is purely residential”. 

The Moir and Brookman Street precinct is a heritage listed pocket of housing that’s remained intact across 120 years as businesses sprung up around it.

Two weeks after the SAT ruling, councillors allowed another house in the same precinct to start short-term renting on a very limited basis.

Cr Dan Loden said at the October 15 council meeting 2 Brookman Street differed from Mr Kogon’s because it had commercial developments on two sides.

“It is very challenging because it’s a question of scope creep … if this is approved, does it then cascade down [the street], Cr Loden pondered. 

Cr Jimmy Murphy, at his final meeting before retiring, said it was valid for neighbours to want permanent residents who were a part of the community and not “a hotel for fly-by-night guests”.

“I also do get that a homeowner who wants to go on holidays for six weeks a year does have the liberty and the right, in my view, to be able to have guests come and stay in that home and be remunerated for that, which I believe was the original intent of Airbnb. 

“And I think it’s probably, for want of a better word, taking the piss now, but I think the original idea was for that very need.”

After some debate councillors settled on allowing the owner to rent it out for a total of 10 weeks a year, and the owner had to provide the council with records of all bookings (so they can tell if any extra noise is due to that use). 

The approval lasts for 18 months.

by DAVID BELL

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