Calgary

Want to rent your Calgary home on Airbnb? Soon you'll need a business licence

Calgary city council voted Monday to require Calgarians who rent their homes through Airbnb or other short-term rental services to obtain a business licence. 

Short-term rental bylaw kicks in Feb. 1, 2020

Calgary has amended a bylaw to require licences for short-term rentals like Airbnb. (John MacDougall/Getty Images)

Calgary city council voted Monday to require Calgarians who rent their homes through Airbnb or other short-term rental services to obtain a business licence. 

The new tiered licenses, created through an amendment to the business licence bylaw, are intended to help regulate the quickly growing industry.

The bylaw will kick in Feb. 1, 2020, with annual fees applying based on the number of bedrooms in the rental. 

One-to-four bedroom rentals will cost $100, while owners of larger rentals will need to pay a $295 fee which includes the cost of a fire inspection. 

The new fee structure that was proposed to help provide oversight to the growing short-term rental industry in Calgary. (City of Calgary)

The bylaw also includes the following rules: that no more than two guests may share a room, every bedroom must have a window, the host must post emergency contact information, and the host can't overlap multiple bookings.

Breaking those rules could lead to a fine of up to $1,000, or the city cancelling the host's rental licence.

City staff estimate there could be as many as 6,000 properties available for short-term rental in Calgary. 

Airbnb hosts in Calgary earned $18 million through more than 137,000 guest arrivals between May 24 and Sept. 2 — that's up 35 per cent from summer 2018, according to the company.

City administration will bring a report back to committee with public feedback on the bylaw by the end of this year.

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