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.

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