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Hard-partying tenants ruffling residents' feathers

The lobby of the ApARTments building in New Acton.

The lobby of the ApARTments building in New Acton. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Residents of a prestigious apartment complex at New Acton have been troubled by the ''loutish behaviour'' of partying short-term tenants who have been riding its large peacock sculpture like a horse, swearing loudly and vomiting onto the terraces of residences below.

Owner-occupiers of The ApARTments say they bought into the complex to ''live in an expensive residential building, not a hotel'' and have raised concerns about investment units being rented out for a weekend or week to short-term tenants whose primary goal appears to be loud partying.

The $170 million, 18-storey apartment complex opened more than two years ago as an upmarket complex with an arty bent. While owner-occupiers have moved in, other furnished apartments are being rented out for weekends or on a weekly basis for as much as $340 a night.

The lobby of the ApARTments building in New Acton.

The lobby of the ApARTments building in New Acton. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Roger Smith, chairman of the Owners Corporation, New Acton South, said the incidents weren't common and The ApARTments were ''still a really lovely place to live in a great precinct''. But residents had routinely complained about the impact of short-term tenants and their ''looney behaviour''.

The owners corporation had since fined one owner, asked investors to accept only long-term rentals or improve screening of their tenants and also appealed to the ACT government to see whether any restrictions could be applied on rentals of less than a month.

A recent incident had seen the huge leather peacock in the lobby, a work called The Watcher by Melbourne sculptor Heather B. Swann, scuffed and damaged by short-term renters climbing on its back.

''They pulled the chairs over to the peacock and climbed on the back of the chairs and up onto the top of the peacock and took photographs of themselves riding the peacock,'' Mr Smith aid. ''One of our residents saw it and asked them not to do it and they laughed and said, 'We've paid to be here, so run away'.''

The same people had also been using foul language and vomiting on to the terraces of the apartments below. They had been identified via the CCTV security system as being short-term renters. ''We'd passed it on to the agents who dealt with it but we've not had any further feedback from them,'' Mr Smith said.

The owners corporation had also issued a warning and then later fined one owner $220 under the Unit Titles Management Act when short-term renters had been playing loud music and banging doors until the early morning, in contravention of the complex's rules.

''The particular owner was horrified when they heard about it and actually withdrew the apartment from that particular leasing arrangement and changed to a longer term. That's the only one that's actually done it but we do appreciate it when it happens,'' Mr Smith said.

Warning or fining owners appeared to be the corporation's only avenue to stem the bad behaviour of their tenants.

''We have made inquiries to the ACT government as to whether there's anything we can do to restrict the way people can lease their apartments and they say, 'No, they're entitled to lease it however they wish, whether it be for one night or two years','' he said.

''People come here for those short periods and some of the apartments that are leased in that way are quite large - which means parties - and that doesn't take much account of people who live next door or above or below.''

59 comments

  • I imagine one of the residents walking down stair then saying "Oh, my!!" before her monocle falls into her champagne glass.

    Commenter
    AwkwardBeans
    Date and time
    February 28, 2013, 7:20AM
    • Don't be a twat awkwardbeans, clearly you haven't scrimped and saved for a deposit on your own place, found somewhere that you love, moved in only to find that your selfish neighbours only think about their own comfort and couldn't care less about anyone else. In time when it happens to them they will realise what immature idiots they were. Good on the body corp taking a strong stance, there are some very lazy estate agents out there who will lease to anyone.

      Commenter
      Benson
      Date and time
      February 28, 2013, 9:47AM
    • I can't believe we're talking about an issue of class and I've been called two names already. Where's the civility in that?

      Commenter
      AwkwardBeans
      Date and time
      February 28, 2013, 11:08AM
    • AwkwardBeans, your comment made me smile, but we're talking about people vomiting onto the terrace below.

      That's enough to stretch neighbourly relations.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      February 28, 2013, 11:30AM
    • @Benson...You said it all.

      Commenter
      dusty
      Location
      bullseye
      Date and time
      February 28, 2013, 2:13PM
  • Serves the tenants right for wanting to live in such high density boxes. If you must have silence then go and buy a property out near Tarago.

    Commenter
    farnarkler
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    February 28, 2013, 7:50AM
    • @AwkwardBeans and Farnarkler..... What a pair of jackasses. Regardless of the density of the development, a resident has a right to expect NOT to have their property puked on and NOT to be deprived of sleep because some w**kers decide to drink themselves to oblivion and party till all hours of the morning. Both your responses show ignorance of the highest order.

      Commenter
      Johnno
      Date and time
      February 28, 2013, 8:19AM
    • So if the owner-occupier upstairs wants to puke on your balcony, what then ?

      Commenter
      enno
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      February 28, 2013, 11:06AM
    • The tenants should have checked before they bought as to whether the properties are permitted to be rented out short term. It'll be a right laugh if some really nasty Housing ACT tenants move in and really create hell there.

      Commenter
      farnarkler
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 01, 2013, 8:00AM
  • I don't agree with fhave the power to fine people. As a rule I believe that Owners Coproations bring out the the crazies - having said that I feel for them, epecially noting that is costs alot to live there.

    Commenter
    Tom
    Date and time
    February 28, 2013, 8:47AM

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