Requirements for operating hosted accommodation in New Zealand
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Our Mission: To promote the professional growth and quality of hosted accommodation in New Zealand.
The requirements for operating hosted accommodation depend on many things such as location and individual local council requirements, and the size of the operation will often dictate which rules and regulations are applicable. The information provided below is designed to give hosted accommodation owners a brief outline of rules and regulations that may apply to them.
Once you open your home to paying guests, you become part of the hospitality industry with all its accompanying responsibilities and obligations. Essentially you are operating a business from your home regardless of the number of rooms you let and regardless of who you advertise with.
Hosted accommodation owners need to ensure they operate within their legal responsibilities. These include:
- The Innkeepers Act - this applies to any property whose proprietor provides sleeping accommodation for any traveller.
- The Health & Safety at Work Act (and Regulations) - hosted accommodation properties are considered a "workplace" and, therefore, are included in this Act.
- Local Council requirements and rates - each Local Council has different requirements for the operation of hosted accommodation properties in their area. Prospective operators should talk to their Local Council to ensure they operate within its rules. The amount of property rates / levies payable will also vary. Generally, if your operation is located in a commercially zoned area then commercial rates will apply. If located in a residential area, the size of the operation (and individual local council) will dictate whether commercial rates, a mixed use rate or residential rates apply.
- Food Safety - hosted accommodation operators who provide food are required by the Food Act to provide safe and suitable food and to meet other requirements contained in the Food Hygiene Regulations. Depending on the size of the operation this may or may not include a commercial grade kitchen. If a property hosts less than 10 guests then this Act is unlikely to apply to you.
- Sale & Supply of Alcohol Act - Whether the property is covered under this Act is dependent on its size. If hosting less than 10 persons and resident on the property, hosted accommodation operators are able to supply alcohol to guests.
- Fire Safety - hosted accommodation properties are required to comply with the Fire Service Act and various building regulations. The level of compliance depends on the number of guests hosted and ranges from the bare minimum of evacuation plans and smoke detectors through to hard wired smoke alarms.
- Race Relations / Disabled Persons - the New Zealand Humans Rights Act prohibits the discrimination of all people based on disability and race. All operators should inform themselves of the requirements of this Act particularly concerning the use of Disability Assist Dogs.
- GST / Income Tax - regardless of the size of operation, owners are required to declare their income. Whether they are required to register for GST depends on their annual income.
- ACC levies - ACC levies are payable by all self-employed persons running businesses which, of course, includes hosted accommodation.
- Insurances - hosted accommodation properties require specialist insurance as a general house and contents policy does not cover hosted accommodation operations. Public Liability insurance should also be taken.
- Transport of Guests - there are a number of regulations involved in this and you should ensure you investigate this fully.
- Fair Trading Act and Consumer Guarantees Act - there are a number of things to be aware of under these Acts and at the very least you need to ensure what you are advertising is what you are providing.