FAQs – Airbnb

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FAQs – Airbnb

What are the rules on Airbnb?

Airbnb arrangements are not explicitly provided for in Council's resource management plans, however there is provision for either homestay or visitor accommodation. Council considers the Airbnb arrangements usually fall within the definition of ‘homestay’.

Homestays are usually permitted activities so long as the definition and standards described in the plan for that zone are complied with. If the arrangement cannot comply with these or is in a zone where homestays are not permitted, it is likely resource consent will be required to operate.

Before a home owner offers a room or their home for accommodation, they should check the rules and standards for their zone. Often the standards will have the following requirements:

  • The accommodation is within a room of your home, a sleepout that is part of your home or for your entire home where you live or holiday when in Marlborough.
  • The home owner may be home or may be away during the visit.
  • The guest accommodation is for short term visits (less than 1 month).
  • The guests are paying guests.

If Council receives a complaint about an arrangement (for example from a neighbour) they will investigate to see if the resource management plan definition, rule and standards that apply are met. They will also consider if there are any adverse environmental effects that go beyond that which would usually arise if the house or home was being used by a family as a residence. It is only if the arrangement falls outside of these requirements or expectations that Council will look to take further action.

One final point to consider is that the above relates to homestays under the Resource Management Act 1991 and our operative plans. It is important that before commencing an arrangement to provide accommodation that the home owner consider whether their property is subject to any other requirements (for example private contractual arrangements with their neighbours or consent notices on their record of title), whether the building they will be providing accommodation within has a building consent and is fit for that use and whether there may be other RMA matters that need to be looked into (for example any limitations on water use or discharge of waste) for their property.

Rates levied against a property may vary, but in many cases of Airbnb type homestays, accommodating less than six people there will likely be no change. However, a tourism charge is levied by Council once it becomes aware of any advertising for the accommodation.