Notorious ‘drug dealers, rock stars’ party house hits market
A GOLD Coast Airbnb party house at the centre of accusations it was illegally hosting sexy parties and weddings without council approval has been quietly listed for sale just days before the case is due in court.
Owner Blair Harding, a motivational sales spruiker, listed his Tallai home two days ago on realestate.com.au seeking $4.25m, just days before he is due in the Planning and Environment Court in Southport on Friday.
Mr Harding, a self-made millionaire, is facing the forced shutdown of his 12-bedroom house, called Wings Hinterland Retreat, after the Gold Coast Council alleged he "deliberately" broke planning laws by renting the house on Airbnb, Stayz and through their own website for at least 16 weddings, conferences and bucks parties for up to 50 people in the past two years.
Mr Harding, who describes himself as the "manager" on Stayz and the "host" on Airbnb, was due to file affidavits on January 13, but they have not been filed.
The ad for the house states it is "for sale by owner", has 14 bedrooms and would be suitable for "rock stars, drug dealers, celebrities, entrepreneurs and ridiculously large families".
"Open to a portion of Vendor Finance, but please, if you don't have $1 million deposit and can't borrow funds, please don't inquire. No agents, tire kickers or dreamers, please," Mr Harding states.
Mr Harding has had an antagonistic relationship with his neighbours since the parties began.
The home on Red Oak Drive in Tallai is rented out for $990-$2000 a night.
The council has asked the court to shut down what is promoted as "one of the Gold Coast's largest holiday homes" to "send a strong message that contravention of planning laws will not be tolerated".
Late last year Gold Coast City Council's lawyers hired private investigators to prove parties were still being held at the sprawling hinterland property despite the owner being advised they were "unlawful".
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In August the house is alleged to have hosted a promotional party for Sexpo, including strippers from "Magic Men Entertainer" and porn stars, naked revellers, and a jetski in the pool, according to Instagram posts filed in evidence by council.
The council is relying on social media posts by guests to prove Mr Harding and his sister are using the house as a party house, function facility, or for short-term accommodation which is unlawful because they don't have development approval.
Speaking outside of court today Mr Harding declined to comment, but earlier this month he told The Courier-Mail that he agrees party houses need to be regulated but his house is not one, and his guests don't make noise after 10pm.
"The council are actually trying to use a technicality to ban short term holiday accommodation and make people apply for an $8000 development application," Mr Harding said.
The home has also been the subject of a series of noise and nuisance complaints by neighbours who claim partygoers loudly frolic on the floodlit tennis court late at night and park their cars on the street.
The council alleges in court documents that he house is promoted on Airbnb as "sleeps 26" in 12 bedrooms but on council approved building plans it only has six bedrooms.
Mr Harding describes himself on his LinkedIn profile as one of the "top 20 business coaches" in the world and claims he owns Ferrari Hire Gold Coast Pty Ltd and has recently sold a franchised Day Spa concept.
He owns the Tallai house through a family trust, having bought it in 2007 for $2.2m, and until June lived across the road in a separate house.
Its not the first time Mr Harding has been in trouble with the council, in 2011 he was slapped with a show-cause notice for operating a function centre at the home.
The case returns to court on Friday, when a settlement could be announced.
If it proceeds, it returns again for hearing on February 18 and 19.