Friday, May 24, 2013

The "unregulated" short-stay accommodation sector

The Motel Association of NZ (MANZ), are yet again revisiting the perennial bogey of the "unregulated" short-stay residential accommodation sector.

While I personally detest amateur accommodation providers operating from residential properties, I'm unable to bring myself to support the proposition that an additional layer of regulation should be imposed, or agree with the hysterical notion that residential properties if used for short term accommodation are "death-traps".
The fear I have with a grouping of moteliers advocating the imposition of regulation on another accommodation sector is that this could unleash a backlash of a protectionist bureaucratic regime across all accommodation sectors. It is concerning that this abhorrent possibility has been openly pontificated by MANZ before.

While the level playing field argument used by MANZ is compelling, realistically there is no fast solution.

Advocating for less regulation and changes in the rating regime based on closing the gap between business/private household rate differentials would appear to be more worthy priorities.

Interestingly this circular debate never seems to mention what the customer wants? If there is a trend for customers to bypass motels in favour of renting short-term residential accommodation, you have to ask the question: What is the motel industry doing differently to meet the changing wants and needs of customers?

Michael Baines, CEO of the New Zealand Motel Association, talks to Larry Williams about the unfair advantage they reckon is given to bed and breakfasts and holiday homes.  

Thursday, 23 May 2013, 9:57 am
Press Release: Motel Association of New Zealand

It’s time the accommodation sector had a level playing field, with sectors such as holiday homes and Bed & Breakfasts regulated and taxed to the same extent as other commercial providers, says the Motel Association of New Zealand (MANZ).

Regulation at both a central and local government level is colluding to create the uneven playing field, with the focus on the ‘traditional’ sectors such as motels and hotels which overlooks the huge growth in the use of private dwellings as commercial accommodation.

“It’s simply unfair that if I operate a motel I’m hit by a raft of taxes, levies and regulatory obligations yet if I rent out my house for short-term accommodation I can avoid all of this,” MANZ Chief Executive Michael Baines says.

Not only is this unfair it also raises serious safety questions Mr Baines says.

“If I operate a motel there are a number of requirements I have to meet to protect the safety of my guests, and rightly so. It is important to ensure that the building is up to scratch through a certificate of fitness and a fire plan,” Mr Baines says.
“Yet if I rent out a block of apartments as holiday flats then I avoid all these obligations – the building could be a death-trap and no-one would know. Is it going to take some kind of disaster in which lives are lost before authorities take this issue seriously?”

“It seems that central and local government are happy to sit back and clip the ticket for taxes and levies for motels and let the unregulated side of the sector do whatever they like.”
“We’re calling on central and local government to ensure a fair go for motels and their owner-operators by creating a level playing field. Protect the quality and the reputation of the Kiwi accommodation sector by clamping down on these uncontrolled and potentially unsafe providers,” Mr Baines concluded.

Source: Click HERE

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