The use of residential properties for guest accommodation activities is becoming increasingly popular with the availability of online advertising and booking facilities.

Please be aware that if you rent your home, or a residential property, to short-term fee paying guests you may need to apply for resource consent under the Christchurch District Plan.

The following information provides a general summary of the effect of some rules of the Christchurch District Plan as at January 2018. People should refer to the District Plan itself for a full understanding of the relevant provisions.

The rules that apply to guest accommodation activities under the Christchurch District Plan vary depending on the location (zoning) and nature of the activity. The nature of the activity typically falls into one of two categories:

  1. use of part of a residential unit
  2. the use of an entire residential unit.

In general, small scale bed and breakfast operations that utilise only part of a residential unit are permitted in residential areas providing the following criteria are met:

  1. it does not involve sale of alcohol
  2. a maximum of six guests is accommodated at any one time
  3. at least one owner of the residential unit resides permanently on site and
  4. no guest is given accommodation for more than 90 consecutive days.

If these requirements are not met, or if an entire residential unit is utilised for guest accommodation, then the activity may not be permitted by the District Plan and you may need resource consent.

The use of a residential building for short-term, fee paying guests may not comply with the Building Act 2004, and could mean the main use of the building has changed.

Building owners need to notify Council when the primary use of a residential building changes to guest accommodation. This change of use may require increased fire prevention and detection measures to meet the provisions of the Building Code.

The use of land and buildings in a manner that does not comply with the either the District Plan or the Building Act 2004 may result in enforcement action by Council.

If you are uncertain as to whether your guest accommodation activity requires consent or a change of use under the Building Act or the District Plan, please call (03) 941 8999 for further information.