Auckland Council says many short-term rental providers are operating as businesses, and should be paying commercial rates.

It’s proposing to increase rates for online accommodation providers where the entire residence is let for more than 28 nights a year. The new rates would vary depending on property zoning within the Auckland area.

According to Bookabach, the proposal would see rates rise by between 29% and 69% if a property is occupied for between 29 and 135 nights annually.

If it’s occupied for more than 135 nights a year, the rates could rise by between 119% and 277%.

The company has made a submission to Auckland Council asking that it changes the suggested threshold, so that properties aren’t fully rated as businesses unless they’re rented out for at least 180 nights annually.

It says this would better identify commercial intent from short-term rental providers.

A similar ratings system is already in place in Queenstown, and other councils are looking to follow suit.

The body representing hotels is pleased, and looks forward to further progression.

“Consistency would be great,” said Rachael Shadbolt of Hospitality NZ.

Auckland Council has received thousands of submissions on its plans and accommodation owners have until Friday to provide their feedback.

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