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Short Term Accommodation
Wāhi noho pepeke
Find out everything you need to know about providing short term accommodation, whether as a Homestay or Residential Visitor Accommodation.
On 30 January 2023, the Environment Court released a decision confirming Queenstown Lakes District Council’s (QLDC) Proposed District Plan (PDP) on visitor accommodation, residential visitor accommodation, and homestays.
The number of permitted days (subject to meeting PDP standards) that a residential visitor accommodation activity can operate will differ across various PDP zones throughout the Queenstown Lakes District, ranging from 42 nights in the Jacks Point Zone, to 90 nights and higher in other zones.
If you are a property owner seeking to operate short term accommodation at your property, please refer to the information below.
You can determine the zoning of your property at https://qldc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=351874446400431d87e633a304927c96.
Please note: If the zoning map does not display a zone over your property, it’s likely you are within a zone that has not yet been reviewed under the Proposed District Plan. If so, your property will be subject to the Operative District Plan (ODP) rules on short term accommodation.Close
Proposed District Plan:
If your zone is subject to PDP rules, check out standards applicable to your zone using the QLDC Visitor Accommodation Practice Note or the Activity Status breakdown further down this page.
Please note: For further information and detail on site specific standards within the PDP (e.g., the max number of guests, vehicle movement, storage of bins, or the use of outdoor areas), please review the applicable District Plan rules for your zone here: https://www.qldc.govt.nz/your-council/district-plan/proposed-district-plan.
Operative District Plan (ODP):
If your zone is still subject to ODP rules, please refer to the QLDC Visitor Accommodation Practice Note.
Under the ODP, short term accommodation is permitted up to 90 nights of the year for standalone or duplex residential units only. There are no permitted allowances for apartments, flats, and terraced houses. In addition, the property must be registered with Council prior to being used for short-term accommodation.
Please note: For further information and detail on site specific standards within the ODP (e.g., max number of guests, vehicle movement, storage of bins, or the use of outdoor areas), please review the applicable District Plan rules for your zone here: https://www.qldc.govt.nz/your-council/district-plan/operative-district-plan/volume-one-operative-district-plan.
If you're planning to operate Residential Visitor Accommodation or a Homestay within the permitted Activity Status levels of your property, then you must register your property.
However, if your plans are beyond the permitted Activity Status levels of your property, you'll need to obtain a resource consent.Close
To register as Short Term Accommodation, first you need to determine if you're operating as Residential Visitor Accommodation or as a Homestay.
Residential Visitor Accommodation means the use of a building established as a residential unit (including a residential flat) by paying guests where the length of stay by any guest is less than 90 nights.
Homestay means the use of a residential unit including a residential flat by paying guests (where the length of stay by any guest is less than 90 nights) at the same time that either the residential unit or the residential flat is occupied by residents for use as a residential activity. Includes bed & breakfasts and farm-stays.
Please note: If you were operating short term accommodation prior to 30 January 2023, then compliance with existing rules at the time of commencing short term accommodation must be adhered to.Close
If you're wishing to operate beyond the permitted standards of your property then a resource consent is required.
More information on this process can be found here: https://www.qldc.govt.nz/services/resource-consents.Close
Activity Status breakdown
Residential Visitor Accommodation is a permitted activity in zones where residential activities are enabled as long it complies with certain standards. Breaches to the permitted activity standards will trigger either a Controlled or Restricted Discretionary activity resource consent. Matters of control/discretion generally relate to scale, intensity and frequency.
Residential Visitor Accommodation includes letting of any building established as a residential unit, irrespective of whether the residential unit is used for residential activity or is solely commercial for guests.
The number of permitted days that Residential Visitor Accommodation activity can operate differs across the various zones, ranging from 42 days to any number of nights.
Days / Activity Status
Permitted subject to standards up to 42 nights otherwise Restricted Discretionary
· Jacks Point Zone (Residences area of the Structure Plan)
Note: 42 nights aligns with the Jacks Point residence constitution at the time the rule became operative
Permitted subject to standards up to 90 nights otherwise Restricted Discretionary
· Low Density Suburban Residential
· Medium Density Residential
· High Density Residential
· Arrowtown Residential Historic Management Zone
· Large Lot Residential
Permitted subject to standards up to 120 nights otherwise Controlled (C) or Restricted Discretionary (RD)
· Business Mixed Use (RD)
· Rural (C)
· Rural Residential (RD)
· Rural Lifestyle (RD)
· Gibbston Character (RD)
· Wakatipu Basin Amenity (C)
· Wakatipu Lifestyle Precinct (RD)
Permitted subject to standards up to 179 nights otherwise Controlled
· Waterfall Park (R) areas
· Millbrook (residential area)
Permitted subject to standards any number of nights otherwise Controlled if standards not met
· Jacks Point Village (V) and V(HB) areas
Frequently Asked Questions
You will need to consider whether the intended accommodation activity requires you to notify QLDC of a ‘Change of Use’.
For example, a residential dwelling that is proposed to be let as a whole to a family or group would likely not require a change of use, whereas a large dwelling proposed to be used as bed and breakfast accommodation where rooms are let individually likely would require a change of use.
For more information see the Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment (MBIE) Building Performance website.
If a change of use is required it may trigger the need to apply for a building consent for upgrades to fire safety systems, hygiene facilities and/or access routes in order to remain compliant with the New Zealand Building Code.
To notify QLDC of a proposed 'Change of Use’ or for further advice, please email our Building Services Team at:Close
Associated Rates Rules
If your property:
- Is registered with QLDC as a homestay or holiday home OR has a resource consent for visitor accommodation up to 180 days, Mixed Use rating factors should be applied.
- Has resource consent for visitor accommodation for 181 to 365 days of the year, it is full Accommodation.
- Is owner-occupied OR leased to a long-term tenant, it is Residential.
- Consists of a primary residence plus flat, it is Residence plus Flat OR Country Dwelling plus Flat as applicable.
More information on Rates will be available on Friday 1 September 2023.Close
If QLDC identifies that you are operating short term accommodation unlawfully, enforcement will be undertaken in accordance with the Resource Management Act 1991 which may include infringements under the Resource Management Act 1991, abatement notices or further escalated enforcement action.
Additionally, if you are found to be operating without registering or obtaining consent as required, your rates may be adjusted without prior notice.Close
If you were operating short term accommodation prior to 30 January 2023, then compliance with existing rules at the time of commencing short term accommodation must be adhered to.Close
We plan to respond to any registrations for short term accommodation within a month, and will confirm the change to your property's rating information that will come into effect the following year.
You are permitted to start operating short term accommodation once your registration has been sent to QLDC.Close
For more information, check the following documents relating to short term accommodation in the Queenstown Lakes.
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