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Online accommodation providers: What you need to know

Get in touch with us to discuss your bill

Published: 3 August 2018

One of the changes to rates this year is the introduction of the accommodation provider targeted rate to online providers.

It is a more complex and different way of doing rates than before, so what do you need to know about the rate if you are an Airbnb, Bookabach or another online accommodation provider?

What is it?

Last year we introduced the Accommodation Provider Targeted Rate (APTR) to partly fund the activities of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). It is charged to hotels, motels and serviced apartments, which benefit from ATEED’s work in making Auckland a vibrant destination.

ATEED supports the sustainable growth of Auckland’s visitor economy. This work includes focusing on destination marketing and management, major events, business events (meetings and conventions) and international student attraction and retention, which is outlined in more detail in the new Destination AKL 2025 Strategy and the underlying ATEED implementation plans.

These accommodation providers also pay business rates for their properties which are higher than residential rates.

It’s about making it fairer

With more and more people visiting Auckland to experience the events and attractions the city offers, the online accommodation sector is expanding rapidly. In the last year alone Airbnb took 10 per cent of the market share.

At the same time, owners who let out their properties via online accommodation services paid residential rates and did not pay the APTR. So we decided to make our rates charges fairer by changing how we charge rates for properties listed online.

How is it charged?

This is a new way of charging rates on a graduating scale, which is based on the number of nights booked and the location of the property in Auckland.

This change does not apply if you are just renting out a room in your property. It only applies if the accommodation you are letting is self-contained.

So for example, if you live in your house but also have a granny flat or studio unit then that part will be affected by the rates changes, while the remainder of the property will continue to be rated as per normal.

The changes to business general rates apply across the entire region. We also have three zones – A, B and C where varying levels of the APTR apply, with zone A being closest to the city and charged more and C furthest away and charged least.

The table below shows how this works:

What are the zones?

The zones are based on the local board the property is located within as below:

  • Zone A (Albert-Eden, Devonport-Takapuna, Mangere-Ōtāhuhu, Maungakiekie-Tamaki, Ōrākei, Waitematā)
  • Zone B (Henderson-Massey, Hibiscus and Bays, Howick, Kaipātiki, Manurewa, Ōtara-Papatoetoe, Puketāpapa, Upper Harbour, Waiheke, Whau)
  • Zone C (Franklin, Great Barrier, Papakura, Rodney and Waitākere Ranges)

So how does this affect rates?

We understand that this is complicated and that it is a new way of charging rates. Below shows how the changes would affect a house worth $1million in Auckland in the various zones.

What do you need to do if you are a provider?

Since introducing this policy we have been contacting all known providers to advise them of the changes and ask for information about how many booked nights their business runs to ensure we get their rates right.

However, in some cases we have not heard back from the providers, so we have assumed they are letting their property out for more than 180 days and charged the full rate.

Also if you provide accommodation services from a self-contained dwelling, such as a studio unit or granny flat, while also residing in the main residence on the property then please let us know. The changes only affect the portion of the property used to provide the accommodation service we will need to assess these on a case by case basis. 

If this is not the case we encourage you to get in touch with us so we can correctly assess the rates and issue an amended notice.