Calls for tougher regulations on Airbnb in NZ
New Zealand apartment owners want tougher rules for short-stay rental companies such as Airbnb following reports of theft, damage to property and overcrowding.
Their plea comes as thousands of British and Irish Lions fans prepare to descend on the country for the June tour, with the scarcity of affordable hotel and motel rooms expected to prompt many to turn to short-term rentals.
Strata Community Organisation NZ (SCANZ), which represents Kiwi apartment owners, said issues need to be addressed before the predicted short-term letting explosion during the Lions Tour causes a ‘‘monumental holiday headache’’.
SCANZ president Joanne Barreto said tougher regulation is required to protect communities affected by short-stay accommodation.
‘‘It’s time some serious thought was put towards ensuring that home sharing services like Airbnb do not cause critical disruptions to local strata communities.
‘‘We are not anti-Airbnb or against short-stay platforms, as especially here in New Zealand where at times there is a shortsupply of hotel rooms and other short-term accommodation, but there’s a very clear need to protect residential and mixed-use strata communities better.’’
Barreto, also director of Property 101 Group in Auckland, said the rise in short-stay, hotel-type accommodation can have serious implications for buildings that were not designed for that purpose.
‘‘No one is against someone renting out their spare room or sofa but the reality that has been observed in most major cities in the world is that once Airbnb and the like take off, they quickly become commercialised with entire properties open to let’’.
Overseas, cities such as New York, San Francisco and Barcelona have imposed regulatory controls on Airbnb and SCANZ wants New Zealand’s biggest cit- ies - including Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch - to follow suit.
In Australia, property owners are also arguing that short-stay rentals are turning unit blocks into hotels, causing overcrowding, impacting building security, and negatively affecting neighbours.
‘‘There's a very clear need to protect mixed-use strata communities better’’
SCANZ is calling for tougher regulations for short-stay accomodation in order to protect communities.