Visitor accommodation

District Planning Information

Visitor accommodation and short term letting

A growing number of people list houses and spare rooms through online booking platforms but a lot are not aware that under current legislation, this comes with several responsibilities.

Property owners have a duty to comply with District Plan and Building Code Regulations.  With any new business model there is a degree of unknown, and we want to make sure you stay on the right side of the rules.  Our planning and building staff can help you understand your obligations and can advise you of any issues you may face.

How we define this type of accommodation:

This type of accommodation is defined as ‘Travellers’ accommodation’ in the Timaru District Plan.  It includes “any land or buildings used to house the travelling public in accommodation which is available at a daily tariff.”  Basically listing on an online booking platform, where you offer someone accommodation for a price meets this definition.

There are then three main areas where the rules apply:

1. Zoning

In the majority of district plan zones, Home-based visitor accommodation activity requires resource consent.  The exception is  Residential 1 zone, where Travellers accommodation for up to 10 people is a permitted activity. (i.e. you’re allowed to do it without asking us).  However, having home-based visitor accommodation can often result in your car parking being non-compliant with the rules.  Often you require three or more on-site car parking spaces.  Determining compliance in Residential 1 will require a site visit from Council staff and further information from the operator.

2. Building Compliance

The Building Act requires the owner to advise the council if they propose to change the use of their building as there are specific building code requirements to be considered and complied with.  These may include (but not limited to) fire protection, fire alarms or access and accessible facilities.  A relevant Building Warrant of Fitness may be required for these systems depending on the “Use” or “Change of Use” of the building.  You can contact council to discuss the options available to you to ensure you will be achieving compliance and your building will be safe for its intended use.

3. Rates

Operating travelers accommodation as part of your home can have implications for the rating of your property.  This could affect the rating type of your property.

The easiest way to make sure you are doing the right things is to get in touch with us, our planning and building staff can help advise you.

Contact Options

Telephone03 687 7200
Main Building AppointmentDrop into 2 King George Place, Timaru

Last updated: 24 Feb 2021