Complaints about people checking in late at night, a baby crying in the morning, girls walking down the driveway in high heels and a couple having loud sex have seen one Airbnb owner fined and shut down.

Michelle Marsh, who owns a two-bedroom unit in a block of four flats in Linwood which she rents out on Airbnb, told Fairfax a neighbour had laid the complaint with the council.

The Christchurch City Council fined Marsh $300 for a breach of the district plan and ordered her to cease operation, Fairfax reported.

Marsh did not have resource consent to use her flat for guest accommodation like many Airbnb owners in residential areas.


Marsh knew of dozens of other Airbnb rentals that did not comply, but suspected there would be many more she did not know about.

A council spokesperson told Fairfax the unit was in a residential medium density zone so guest accommodation was a discretionary activity and needed a resource consent.

The council ordered Marsh to cease renting it on November 17 but allowed her an extension till January 30 to give her time to apply for the necessary resource consent.

Marsh met with the council where they spelled out resource consent conditions. They included the need for fire sprinklers, fire walls and disabled access, and a fee of $2500 is required.

"They have made it cost-prohibitive to get resource consent. I will also need to get the consent from 12 neighbouring property owners. If any one of those owners says no, then I will have to fund the cost of a hearing, which would take the fee up to $7500," Marsh told Fairfax.

"I have fixed the headboard noise and I have banned late-night check-ins, but it's not enough. If I don't stop operating as an Airbnb without resource consent by 30 January I will be prosecuted and possibly even sent to jail. The council enforcement officer made this quite clear to me at the meeting."

Marsh said she has had long-term tenants who had "absolutely trashed the place" but with Airbnb she had a cleaner go in three times a week to make sure the house was well looked after.