Time’s up for the Wakatipu’s part-time landlords

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Holiday home owners who rent out their properties are getting the hurry-up from Queenstown Lakes District Council. 

QLDC has its eye on 78 holiday homes which aren’t on the council’s renting-out register and alternatively don’t have resource consent. 

Thirty-seven homestays are also targeted. 

The 115 owners will now be contacted, “inviting them to elect whether they register or seek resource consent,” QLDC’s Scott Figenshow says. 

“Following this initial invitation, council will be following up with owners to ensure that either registration or consent is achieved within a reasonable timeframe.” 

Holiday home owners kicked up a fuss back in 2007-08 when QLDC first made noises about resource consents at $400-$500 each for private houses rented out for more than 28 days a year. 

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand weighed in against the move, vowing to “fight to the end”. 

QLDC initially said consent conditions could control the number of visitors, the times of year a house could be rented, carparking, signage – even the maximum number of homes in a street which could be rented out at any one time. 

Homeowners might also have to file annual rental returns. 

Then-local REINZ head Richard Newman labelled the proposal “communism”. 

Seventy submissions were received and QLDC watered down the proposal before a district plan change became operative in April 2009. 

Registered holiday homes don’t need consent so long as they’re not rented out more than 90 nights a year – with each letting for a minimum of three nights. 

Registered homestays can also avoid consents so long as they don’t take in more than five guests.