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Bachcare - legal requirements before renting out your back

Listing your bach as a holiday rental is one thing, but you also need to ensure that you are operating within the law, meeting health and safety standards and a range of personal, legal and taxation obligations that you will need to understand and navigate.

It could feel a bit overwhelming at first glance so we’ve put together an overview of the main aspects that you need to consider before renting out your bach. It’s not an exhaustive list but it will set you on the right path. Our experience managing more than 2000 holiday homes nationwide means that our Bachcare experts are well equipped to help you ensure that all the regulatory bases are covered.

Bachcare - fire safety requirements

Health & Safety

Under New Zealand legislation, an owner is responsible to ensure that the holiday home and garden are free of any hazards that could cause an accident or injury, including pests and vermin. This includes the following:

  • Smoke alarms, installed, with working batteries.
  • Fire extinguishers in place, up-to-date, with 3-monthly checks recommended
  • Hazardous chemicals stored safely, in child-proof locations e.g. rat bait, pool chemicals should be secured in high or locked cupboards.
  • Swimming pools deeper than 400mm must be fenced.
  • Decks or balconies more than 1m above ground must have a handrail at least 1m high.
  • Any boats or kayaks are seaworthy, with life jackets provided.
  • Negligence could be prosecuted under the New Zealand Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
Bachcare - rules and regulations

Local authority rules and regulations

You will need to check local body rules as these can vary between towns and regions e.g. Queenstown-Lakes District Council requires providers of visitor accommodation to be registered. Other watch-outs include

  • Some regions require resource consent for short term rentals.
  • You may be liable to pay a different or increased rates charges.
  • Properties within a body corporate, on a cross lease or subject to a covenant may have specific rules for short term rentals.

Bachcare’s expert team can help you navigate all the finer details of regulations and rules that govern holiday home rentals.

Request a free info pack today and find out more about how Bachcare works

Request an info pack


You may need a specific holiday home insurance. You should advise your insurer of its use as a holiday rental, and ensure that you have the correct policy in place.

Bank approval

If a bank has a security interest in your property, you should check with the bank on whether mortgage terms and conditions allow short term rentals.

Payment & Cancellation policy

Communicate clearly with tenants all dates and arrangements for payment e.g. for deposit, final full payment. You must also advise and agree on the cancellation process — when, how and what refunds can be given at different stages e.g. 2 months, 2 weeks or 2 days out.

Bachcare - rental agreements

Rental agreements

A holiday rental is covered by consumer law rather than the act that relates to long-term tenancies. It’s therefore important that you have a rental agreement in place to cover both owner and the renter.

  • Residential Tenancies Act 1986: As a general rule, this legislation does not apply where a house is let for the tenant’s holiday purposes, therefore a rental agreement must be in place to cover both the owner and the renter.
  • A holiday rental is protected under the Consumer Guarantees Act: accommodation must be provided in a reasonable standard, fit for purpose and clean.
  • Creating a written agreement for a short-term rental to outline fair use policy is paramount. This should cover all relevant conditions from number of guests to payment etc.
Bachcare - income tax

NZ GST & Income Tax

  • Under the Income Tax Act 2007, holiday home and Airbnb rental income is taxable, and must be included on your tax return.
  • If your taxable activities (including rental income) are more than NZ$60,000 over a 12-month period, you must be registered for GST.
  • To be eligible to claim costs related to the rental income, you must keep a record of these expenses.
  • Local or regional rates must be paid.
  • Ownership structure (i.e. individual, business or trust) has different implications for both income tax and GST.
Bachcare - rules and regulations

Bachcare recommends:

At Bachcare we understand that one size doesn’t always fit all. We offer two solutions with varying degrees of involvement for you as a homeowner.

Revenue and Occupancy

Bachcare is the only holiday home management company in New Zealand that has a team dedicated to managing owners’ revenue and occupancy. These services are based on our commercial insights, experience and knowledge of the holiday rental business.

Insights from the national Bachcare holiday home database help determine the optimal base price for your property, based on location, facilities and amenities, market trends and seasonality e.g.  nightly rates may vary from an average $50 per person per night up to $150-$200 per person per night for a luxury, high season stay.

Bachcare properties average bookings of 55 nights per year, but this could be up to 200 nights when a property has full availability over the summer holiday period.
There is an option to keep your bach at a flat nightly rate throughout the year or, the preferred option, when our dedicated revenue team manages and proactively adjusts the pricing according to fluctuations in demand so that you never miss out on potential revenue and bookings.

Bachcare’s two revenue management options are:
- Super Income Max which pricing allows flexibility for the team to adjust your nightly rate in response to demand.
- the Fixed Price plan maintains one nightly rate throughout the year.  

Whatever your property and revenue goals are, we’re here to help.

Bachcare - rental agreements

Amenities and Extras

The thoughtful provision of amenities, along with extra little touches and additional considerations can generate more positive reviews and help raise income potential. It’s worth noting that with Bachcare, pet-friendly properties get 23% more bookings.

Bachcare provides a handy checklist to ensure that all the basic items are available for your guests.

Bachcare - optimising your revenue

Top Tip #2: Get your pricing right

Pricing is crucial to optimising occupancy. Over-pricing risks missing out on bookings and income, while under-pricing could mean you’re simply not breaking even.

Effective price setting takes into account comparable short term rentals in the local market and needs to be flexible for a seasonal market. Use the Bachcare website to compare your place with other similar holiday rentals in your area to get an idea on what you could be charging.

Or, you can leave it up to the experts. Bachcare is the only holiday home management company with a team dedicated to optimising your revenue, which takes away the guesswork of setting your base rate and adjusting the price to suit demand. With data from over 2000 homes, we know how to maximise revenue and occupancy based on the all-in-important demand and supply.

Bachcare recommends:

Research, compare and realistically assess your costs then reach out to one of our New Owner Advisors [link]  who will guide you through an income projection for your property. To set you on the way, check out what you could be earning on our Income Calculator. [link]

Bachcare earnings chart

Top Tip #1: Inspirational photography

Great photos will lift your listing above the crowd, instantly set the scene and tell the story of what a holiday at your place looks and feels like. So, if “a picture is worth a thousand words”, there’s good reason to ensure that your holiday home listing stands out with great pictures. Anticipation motivates, and the right visuals can help fuel that anticipation.

Industry experts agree that quality photos are worth the effort and investment.

“Photographs are the single most important factor for marketing a vacation property.” — Scott Shatford, Founder AirDnA [link to AirDnA]

You may even want to consider professional photography as, according to Airbnb [ALT: as Airbnb data shows], professionally photographed homes get booked twice as often. [link to Airbnb] Better still, when you join Bachcare, we can take care of those professional photos so that your place looks its best. OR Join Bachcare and we can take care of those professional photos so that your place looks its best.

Bachcare recommends:

Make the most of a sunny day to take high quality images, depicting the best of your property and surroundings — at least 20 so there’s a choice for your listing.

Bachcare - rental agreements

Top Tip #6: Check your bedding configuration

When it comes to booking accommodation, the bedding configuration is super important. If you offer a flexible solution that accommodates a range of guests, your booking potential will increase.

Bachcare recommends:

Rather than single bunks, consider a double / single bunk combo (double on bottom, single on top). Consider a split-king bed instead of a queen for second and third bedrooms, allowing for a couple or twin share bedroom.

Bachcare earnings chart

Top Tip #7: Focus on your entertaining areas

Make the most of your outdoor entertaining areas because that’s what your potential guests are looking for — a pleasant space to spread out into, put their feet up, eat and play together. Attractive outdoor areas with comfortable furniture are a significant plus for potential guests when it comes to deciding to book a holiday home.

Bachcare recommends:

Find inspiration on how to spruce up or create outdoor ambience at your place by browsing some of the best Bachcare listings.

How does a holiday home management service work?

If renting out your holiday home now feels like a viable option, the next typical roadblock is the time and stress of managing everything from listings, bookings and availability to ongoing maintenance. All that can seem overwhelming, even more so if you live an hour or more away from the property. Using a property manager like Bachcare removes the stress and hassle of the renting process for you.

The Bachcare Difference

Bachcare - the Bachcare difference

Maximum rental return through data-driven pricing

You may need a specific holiday home insurance. You should advise your insurer of its use as a holiday rental, and ensure that you have the correct policy in place.

Bachcare - the Bachcare difference

Advice on getting your property rental ready

With over 2,300 homes in the Bachcare network, our onboarding team has a wealth of knowledge for getting your property ready to rent. Knowing how to set-up your bach as a rental and what essential things to include can make a real difference to your occupancy.

Bachcare - the Bachcare difference

Portal for tracking bookings and calendar blocking

Your personal online owner portal allows you to block dates for personal use, view guest bookings, track performance, and chat with our support team. It’s always accessible from the palm of your hand, from wherever you may be.

Bachcare - the Bachcare difference

Property listing on our site plus partners such as Airbnb & Bookabach

We get your property in front of as many eyes as possible.  All our properties are listed on our own site, as well as popular booking platforms such as Airbnb, Bookabach, & at no extra cost to you. Doing this helps maximise your reach and bookings potential.

Bachcare - the Bachcare difference

Post-stay cleaning by locally-based managers

Our professionally trained, locally based managed service providers ensure your property is kept to the highest standard, clean and ready for when your next guests arrive.

Bachcare - the Bachcare difference

Guest enquiry and bookings management

Our centralised support office manages enquiries, bookings, payments, bonds and guest contracts, 365 days per year. Our friendly support team help over 150,000 guests find their happy place every year.

Bachcare - the Bachcare difference

Professional set of photographs and online listing

When you join Bachcare, our team helps make your property stand out from the crowd. Our new listings are crafted by our expert team with pictures taken by professional photographers showing off your happy place in its best light.

Bachcare - the Bachcare difference

Perform additional property management as required

If you need any work done while your away simply get in contact with us and we will be happy to help. We have people available on the ground near your happy place that can arrange any property management tasks required for an additional fee.

Bachcare’s expert team can help you navigate all the finer details of regulations and rules that govern holiday home rentals.

Request a free info pack today and find out more about how Bachcare works

Request an info pack