City committee to discuss new regulations for home share services
Published Tuesday, September 10, 2019 12:18PM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 10, 2019 4:32PM MDT
The City of Calgary is set to discuss new regulations for home-sharing services such as Airbnb.
A council committee will meet Wednesday morning to look at license fees, fines and short term regulations. Councillors on the committee say changes are being proposed because the home-sharing industry has grown significantly.
Ward 1 councillor, Ward Sutherland, says the city will need to anticipate the evolving changes to the industry. "I had so many complaints in my ward in the suburbs where there were different short term room rentals that caused major problems with neighbours."
"We found out we had no jurisdiction to deal with those types of issues so we needed to do something."
The council committee has now been examining best practices for home rentals across the country for the last year-and-a-half.
Sutherland adds that one of the most important proposed changes is to include greater safety measures. "So, for example, smoke detectors were not mandatory, now they’ll be mandatory so these are really kind of no brainer safety things. A fire exit, panels of where to go when you’re renting, just the simplistic stuff of what should all be happening anyway will now become mandatory."
The committee is looking at adding a business license so that it can enforce rules to make sure both tenants and renters are acting responsibly.
The introduction of fines up to $1,000 and a removal of one’s business license is also on the table if certain rules or regulations are broken.
The city will additionally look at implementing a one per cent tourism fee for renters which would be similar to the way hotels operate. It will need approval from the province to introduce that type of fee.
Wednesday’s committee meeting will include a full review of proposed home-sharing regulations and rules. The report will go to council at the end of September and, if passed, the proposed rules would go into effect sometime in February of 2020.
Alexandra Dagg of Airbnb says the business is on board with the City's plans.
"We welcome the City of Calgary’s move toward regulating home sharing and look forward to continuing to support the city through this new chapter of regulation," said Dagg in a statement sent to CTV Tuesday afternoon. "In a time when life feels like it’s only getting more expensive across Alberta, Airbnb helps Calgarians afford to stay in their homes and provides tourists with an affordable option to explore the city and spread economic benefits to local businesses across the city.”