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Vacation Rentals & Party Noise: Everything You Need to Know

Short-term rental services have long been subject to a number of problems, but with Halloween and the coming holiday season still fresh in our minds one particular issue stands out: party noise. These rental services can be great for the economies of holiday hotspots, but the neighbours living around them are often left frustrated, unable to sleep while rowdy tourists disrupt their communities. There have been a number of attempts to control the noise that comes from these properties — not the least of which has been a recent effort from Airbnb to legally prevent one-night rentals in certain areas from making excessive noise with digital agreements and supplying rental owners with noise monitors. But does this keep nuisance noise out of holiday communities? If you’re a short-term renter, how can you be sure you don’t breach noise control regulations? And if you’re a short-term landlord, what can you do to protect your community and comply with your management service? Let’s discuss.

Nuisance Noise in Tourism Communities

Many communities — especially those close to beaches, natural wonders, or historically important sites — thrive through tourism. Here in Australia, tourism contributes over $122 billion to our economy each year, bringing life to rural and urban communities alike. But of course, those communities have residents who aren’t tourists — they live in these places, often working jobs that service the transient tourist population. They spend their days working hard to give the tourists great experiences, then head home to relax. On the other hand, many tourists moving through these communities will want to enjoy the bars, restaurants, and other nightlife on offer, which can sometimes lead to disruptive noise levels. It is therefore put to the local governments to determine precise rules around noise allowances, zoning, and particularly accommodation ordinances to balance the needs and wants of both the local residents who bring value to their area, and to the transient tourist population who boost their economy.

Currently, many local governments of tourism communities enact these rules through the same systems as any other government: wait for a noise complaint to be reported, send an environmental health officer or police officer to assess the situation and/or deliver warnings or fines to noise breaches, then move along. Residents can also lodge complaints directly to the websites, but without thorough research or prior knowledge of how the host is operating their rental, this is often ineffective. However, after constant complaints and pressure from residents and governm