New Acton South resident Roger Smith and New Acton East resident Maureen Hay are after a more reasonable approach by short-term guests that recognises the development is a residential area. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
Residents in up-market apartment complexes in New Acton have criticised noisy behaviour by short-term guests booked into serviced apartments managed by hotels.
One resident of New Acton East said the raucous behaviour in apartments - some advertised as allowing visitors to “live like a local” - had increased in the past six months, as locals claimed to be losing sleep as regularly as once a fortnight.
“There have been a number of hens' and bucks' parties held in the apartments [despite a supposed ‘no party’ policy in place],” the resident said.
The dispute in the prestigious precinct is part of a broader trend of mixing transient visitors and long-term owners or tenants in residential dwellings, made easier by online sites such as Airbnb.
Maureen Hay, who is on the executive committee of New Acton East owners’ corporation, said complaints were infrequent and hotels did act on them, but a minority of guests appeared to ignore their residential surrounds even when approached by the neighbours.
“The attitude of [short-term guests] here is, 'We paid a lot of money, we can do what we want',” Ms Hay said. “This is our home, this is our sanctuary, we shouldn’t have people telling us to get back inside.”
Hotel Hotel and the Diamant Hotel each manage apartments in the building, in addition to their hotel rooms.
Spokespeople for each hotel said they had strict "no party" policies and guests were asked to leave if a request by staff to end excessive noise was ignored.
Hotel Hotel general manager Tracy Atherton said the establishment had not received any complaints about bucks’ or hens’ parties and no guests had been asked to leave in the six-month period complained about. “The negative comments we have received are mainly about young children,” she said.
“Given we have a 24-hour reception, we have better protection against any activities than what the building has in place itself.”
Diamant’s operations manager James Sharrock said there had been no complaints about partying since he began at the New Acton site in March.
Attorney-General Simon Corbell said while restrictions could arise on a case-by-case basis, it was legal for an apartment owner to rent out the dwelling on a regular short-term basis.
Those taking advantage of the often lucrative practice had a win in Victoria in December, when the state’s Court of Appeal ruled short-term serviced apartment lets could operate in a residential-zoned building.
Recent concerns come more than a year after owner-occupiers at The ApARTments in New Acton South raised complaints about the partying of short-term tenants, who had been riding its large peacock sculpture like a horse, swearing loudly and vomiting onto the terraces of residences below.