Important Update for Christchurch Homeowners: New Short-Term Rental Rules

Important Update for Christchurch Homeowners: New Short-Term Rental Rules, what do they mean
Many of you may have heard about the recent changes in Christchurch’s legislation concerning short-term visitor accommodation. We wanted to share some valuable information about these changes and how they may affect you as a homeowner in the area if you are operating short-term visitor accommodation or considering entering this space.

Previously, the district plan didn’t differentiate between different forms of visitor accommodation, which led to all home sharing activities being classified as “non-residential” within residential zones. This raised concerns among residents and impacted the surrounding areas. It also means that consent may be required for all existing operators.

Christchurch City Council released additional regulation (plan change 4 or pc4) to control the establishment and operation of short term visitor accommodation in Christchurch City (including Banks Peninsula). That regulation was considered by Airbnb Australia pty limited (Airbnb) to be unworkable, unduly complex and inefficient. The council’s stated objective of these rules was to mitigate the impact of short-term rentals on neighborhoods, addressing concerns such as noise, traffic, and parking.

Planz Consultants Limited were engaged by Airbnb to address these issues Matt Bonis took the lead, working with the client and their legal counsel (Chapman Tripp) to ensure improvements were made to the clarity and workability of the provisions. The process involved expert planning advice at the council hearing and the subsequent environment court mediation process. While the results are a compromise, the provisions are more workable and certain to enable visitor accommodation, specifically recognising the importance of Airbnb and similar accommodation types to the economy and community of Christchurch.

The new rules now generally require property owners to obtain a resource consent if they rent their properties to visitors for more than 60 days a year and / or there is more than eight guests. This change represents a significant shift from the council’s initial version which required consent regardless of the number of operating days, or number of guests associated with the accommodation.

At Planz, we are here to assist you with these changes and guide you through the resource consent process, ensuring that you can continue to /or start to rent out your property as short-term accommodation. We understand that these new rules may present challenges for some homeowners, but our team of experienced planners can help you navigate the process smoothly. We have well-established templates and processes to help your application approval.

We firmly believe that these new short-term rental rules are a positive step for Christchurch. They promote a balanced approach that benefits both property owners and the community at large.

Looking Ahead: Potential National Legislation
It’s worth noting that the new Christchurch short-term rental rules are likely to serve as a model for national legislation. The New Zealand government is actively exploring options for regulating short-term rentals, and we anticipate that a national framework may be introduced soon. For homeowners and property owners engaging in short-term rentals, staying informed about the latest regulations is crucial. Planz can help you understand and comply with any national legislation related to your property.

About Planz
At Planz, we pride ourselves as a leading planning and development consultancy in New Zealand. Our experienced team of planners is well-versed in handling various planning and development projects, including short-term rental applications. We understand the importance of compliance with planning regulations and will work closely with you to ensure your application meets the council’s requirements, maximising your chances of success. Our commitment is to deliver the highest level of service to our valued clients.

Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or need assistance with your short-term rental application. We are here to support you every step of the way.

August 2023