Overcrowding in the city

Overcrowding is a serious problem in Sydney.  Rack-renting is organised by well-resourced operators as well as amateurs, and it has occurred in Jacksons Landing.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore reports:
Overcrowding and illegal accommodation is a difficult problem faced by councils across Sydney… Climbing rents and greedy, irresponsible building owners are the root cause. In the last financial year [2013-2014] our 24 hour hotline received … 1,100 allegations of overcrowding and illegal accommodation …
When we receive a complaint our staff investigate using the powers given to local governments in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.  Councils do not have the power to enter private property and perform on-the-spot inspections, making getting evidence and prosecuting … extremely difficult …
If you have concerns about a property near you, please contact the City on 02 9265 9333.

According to the City officers trying to deal with it:

  • There’s no law against overcrowding: authorities rely on public health issues, noise issues and breaches of Development Approval  conditions;
  • It’s difficult to prove: only the fire brigade can enter premises without notice;
  • So the City will move only with compelling evidence;
  • An operation once closed down, can re-appear within days; and
  • The present legislation is inadequate.

These observations are confirmed by stratas in Jacksons Landing: they win an occasional (and expensive) battle, but not the war.

Given these constraints, the most likely way to stop overcrowding is first to talk to the owner of an apartment, or the managing agent if the apartment is tenanted; then call the City on 9265 9333.