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Airbnb 'unfair' to rate payers

Elizabeth Thomson
Christchurch City Council
Christchurch City Council building  Phillip Capper, Flickr

City council considers rates rise for Airbnb owners after complaints about the rising number of listings in Christchurch.

The Christchurch City Council has received after several complaints from residents about the accommodation listing service Airbnb. 

The number of Airbnb listsings in Christchurch has increasded from 58 in 2016 to more than 2500 this year.

Airbnb accommodation is often cheaper than regular hotels and motels because owners do not have to pay the 66 percent premium on their rates that other accommodation providers have to. 

However, that may soon change.

The city council is considering imposing the 66 percent premium on Airbnb owners. 

City councillor Deon Swiggs said he was also concerned about the safety regulations of Airbnb. 

Currently, any properties being used as rental holiday homes must have sprinklers and fire safety equipment installed. That rule is not yet enforced on Airbnb. 

Swiggs said the council was looking into the situation to "even out the playing field".

He said people, who lived near Airbnb accommodation were complaining to the city council about "the comings and goings" of Airbnb guests on residential streets. 

But one Airbnb owner said that there were too many unfair generalisations about the industry. 

"I've had some of the worst experiences in motels... I think you'll find my accommodation warm and comfortable." 

While the city council has not made any decisions, Consenting and Compliance General Manager Leonie Ray is advising residents with rental properties to seek resource consent and check the regulations for their properties.