The pressure is coming on those who let their Queenstown
and Wanaka holiday homes for profit to pay the correct amount
Under a 2009 plan change, the Queenstown Lakes District
Council required owners of such properties to register with
the council and accept a rate increase of about 25%.
In a statement yesterday, council chief financial officer
Stewart Burns said owners had until the end of May to
register, apply for resource consent or ''cease using their
property'' as a rental.
''From 1 June, 2014, the council would be actively enforcing
Mr Burns pointed out to the Otago Daily Times the
council had the ability to impose fines for breaches of the
While 354 properties were on the register in November, Mr
Burns was ''concerned'' at the ''fair number'' of property
owners who appeared to be ''avoiding their
''We have evidence that some ratepayers are taking in
short-term paying visitors without the correct registrations
''In my experience, there's nothing more annoying for
ratepayers that have complied than to see someone else in a
similar position who has not.''
The council wanted to ensure that those who let their homes
or holiday houses paid their fair share of rates.
It would be monitoring rental property advertisements and
matching them against its register.
Mr Burns said since the plan change, there had been ''ad
hoc'' action to get property owners on to the register.
As part of the current campaign, council processes had been
simplified to make online registration easier.
''This is as much an education exercise as anything else -
refreshing the requirement in people's minds.''
Deputy mayor Lyal Cocks was one of the commissioners who
presided over the original plan change 22 hearing.
He told the Otago Daily Times yesterday introducing
the register had been a lengthy and complex business.
Previously, the district plan had required property owners
offering short-term accommodation to obtain resource consent.
The change removed that requirement for homeowners and also
addressed concerns from the accommodation industry, whose
members wanted all those providing visitor accommodation to
contribute through their rates.
Mr Cocks said commercial accommodation providers had raised
the issue with the council.
Mr Burns said the move would not provide the council with
additional revenue but would make ratepayer contributions