New Zealand
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Court Decision Requiring Short-term Rental Accommodation To Be Consented Welcomed By Hospitality NZ

A decision by the Environment Court allowing Christchurch City Council to require short-term rental accommodation to be consented has been welcomed by Hospitality New Zealand.

Incoming Chief Executive Steve Armitage expressed his hope that this ruling would set a precedent for other councils across New Zealand.

Changes to the Christchurch District Plan rules requiring un-hosted short-term rental accommodation properties rented for more than 60 days a year to be consented were approved by the Council in March last year but were held up till this week while the decision was appealed to the Court.

"This decision is a significant step towards levelling the playing field for short-term accommodation operators, placing them on a similar footing as traditional commercial operators.”

“Although we believe it could have gone further, it is undoubtedly a positive move for commercial operators in Christchurch, who have long advocated for the regulation of short-term rental accommodation operators," says Steve Armitage.

He added, "We hope this landmark decision will encourage other councils to follow suit. It establishes the precedent that councils have the authority to regulate these properties according to their district plans, and we encourage other regions to adopt similar measures."

While the legal battle resulted in costs for Christchurch ratepayers, the ruling represents a victory for the accommodation industry. However, there are ongoing concerns about whole-of-house rentals operating as accommodation businesses without being subjected to the rules and regulations governing traditional operators.

Looking to the future, Hospitality New Zealand continues to advocate for a central government-led national register for all short-term rental accommodation properties across the country.

“Such a register would enable local councils to identify and monitor short-term rental properties effectively. This idea has garnered support from various accommodation industry bodies, including short-term rental accommodation platforms, and the recent Christchurch case highlights the importance of implementing such a register.”

“We remain committed to promoting fair competition and creating a level playing field for all accommodation operators. As the industry continues to evolve, collaboration between local and national authorities will be pivotal in ensuring a balanced and well-regulated hospitality sector that benefits both operators and the communities they serve,” says Steve Armitage.

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