Calgary city committee approves new short-term rental rules

A Calgary committee voted to approve rules recommended by administration regarding short-term rentals on Wednesday.

The city is considering a two-tiered licence system. One would be for homes with up to four bedrooms and the other would be for places with five or more bedrooms.

The fees would range from $100 to $191. Other items included in the report would restrict the number of guests to two per room and every bedroom must have a window.

City of Calgary closer to implementing new rules for home-sharing services

Fines for breaking the rules go up to $1,000.

Calgary Airbnb host Brendan Harris said he believes some regulation is needed but is concerned about enforcement.

“If they (the city) can help us with education and let us know what the complaints are, then we can kind of funnel that back through to Airbnb as well. I think the city, if they work together with Airbnb and together with hosts and we sit down maybe every few months to try to work out problems, that would be the best,” Harris said.

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Tracy Douglas Blowers, a member of the Alberta Hotels and Lodging Association, said hotels are not afraid of competition and they don’t want to regulate homeowners who occasionally rent rooms in their own homes.

“True home sharing occurs in the owners’ principal residence. Savvy operators are turning home sharing into a new class of investment, converting residential units into ghost hotels, avoiding the normal cost of doing business and creating additional demands on municipal resources like police, waste management and bylaw enforcement,” Douglas Blowers said.

Wednesday’s vote was 6-1 with only Councillor Jeromy Farkas opposed. He said he wants more flexibility for operators and was concerned with some of the issues members of the public brought up.

Councillor Diane Colley-Urquhart said if approved by council, administration will take some of the concerns of the public into account when it draws up a bylaw and presents it to council later this year with implementation by February.

With files from Aurelio Perri.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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