Do I need Resource Consent to host an Airbnb?

Recently a friend was in the market for a new house and found a great property with the potential to also be used as an Airbnb.  Renting out your property on a short-term basis through websites such as Airbnb or Bookabach can be an attractive proposition.  However, if you’re considering going down this route, it’s important to be aware of your local council’s regulations and any requirements for resource consent.  Property owners in Queenstown and Christchurch have been slapped with fines for operating unlawfully, so it pays to do your homework.

Over the last few years, New Zealand has seen a massive boom in short-term rental market. In response, many Councils have tightened regulations for short-term accommodation, or are considering doing so.  This is due to concerns such as:

  • the amenity of residential neighbourhoods and effects such as noise and parking issues,
  • housing supply and affordability,
  • building safety standards, and
  • ensuring fair property rates are charged.

Current Regulations:

The current approaches of Councils in New Zealand’s top three Airbnb destinations are as follows:

  1. Auckland: Speak to the Council about your situation, as the need for consent is determined on a case by case basis.
  2. Queenstown: New district plan rules for visitor accommodation came into legal effect on 21 March 2019.  You are required to notify the Council prior letting your property and keep up to date records. If your property is in the high-density residential zone, then it is generally permitted to offer accommodation for up to 90 nights a year (providing parking and health and safety standards are met).  In other residential parts of Queenstown and central Arrowtown, you will require a resource consent. The type of consent you will need (controlled, restricted discretionary or non-complying) will depend on how many days of the year your property is let. If you live on site and just rent out a part of your property, then you may be classified as a ‘homestay’ provider, which is a permitted activity providing you can meet certain standards. To find more, click here.
  3. Christchurch: Currently, people running a traditional bed and breakfast where the hosts live on site are usually not required to obtain a resource consent. However, if you are renting a whole house for short-term guest accommodation then in most cases you will need a resource consent. For more information on your obligations, see the Council’s website.

Our Advice:

We advise that you get in touch with your local council to find out more about your obligations.  They can advise you on whether you need a resource consent, as well as any obligations relating to rates and the building code. If you need to apply for a resource consent, then you may also need to consult with your neighbours and obtain their written approvals. 

If you need help with consents, then talk to the planning team at Avanzar Consulting.  We’re more than happy to sort this out for you, so you can focus your energies on being the host with the most!