Permanent residents at The Sebel Pelican Waters may have to move out to make way for temporary visitors after a court ruling.
Permanent residents at The Sebel Pelican Waters may have to move out to make way for temporary visitors after a court ruling.

Luxury resort unit owners caught up in crackdown

PROPERTY owners should brace for a crackdown on temporary accommodation breaches after a legal win to rid a luxury resort of its unlawful long-term residents.

Units on levels two, three and four of the The Sebel Pelican Waters will be restricted to temporary visitors only, as ordered by Planning and Environment Court judge Glen Cash.

This is the second court ruling in recent weeks which could result in permanent residents booted from Sunshine Coast units which were only ever intended for short stays, according to the complexes' planning approvals.

In a separate ruling, Judge Nicole Kefford declared permanent residents of Ocean Boulevard, Alexandra Headland were "unlawful".

Sunshine Coast Council is now "considering the outcomes".

The Sebel's management, D'Agostini Property, initially complained to the council that units across three levels of their building were being let to permanent residents, despite lacking basic long-term necessities such as a full kitchen and laundry facilities.

Sunshine Coast Council escalated the issue to court in January, with more than 40 groups of owners named as respondents.

Deputy Mayor Tim Dwyer said the Sebel decision provided "clarity" for resort and hotel managers, and he supported their right to conduct business legally and in line with planning approvals.

Cr Dwyer expected the order would have widespread implications for property owners across the region, and urged any resort or hotel managers similarly affected to report the matter to the council.

"The units were built, planned and conditioned for short-term accommodation and it's part of the overall body corporate and management rights down there," Cr Dwyer said.

"It's only fair that when someone takes on the management rights for a particular facility, the Sebel in question this time, that they be able to legally conduct whatever management rights conveyed to them in the first place.

"I support the decision."

Cr Dwyer said he was "disappointed" to see that in recent weeks a number of Sebel Pelican Waters short-term units had been advertised for long-term leases, and suggested those responsible were misleading potential tenants.

He said he did not want to see anybody "kicked out" and believed leases in place when the matter arose should be respected, but not renewed.

He said the council had supported that position throughout proceedings.

"Once that lease had been complete it would not be extended," he said.

On Monday, a Sunshine Coast Council spokeswoman confirmed there was an attempt to overturn Judge Cash's decision.

The spokeswoman said on December 23, they received a sealed copy of an application to the Court of Appeal seeking leave to appeal his decision.

"Council is unable to provide further comment on these proceedings until the application has been resolved," the spokeswoman said.