Licensing is also available for up to three additional properties if they were purchased on–or before–February 23rd last year. Licensing prices for these work a little differently though, said Terry Cormier, licensing coordinator for the City of Winnipeg’s Licensing and Bylaw Enforcement Division.
“Basically, what we did was we took the primary residence fee, and (multiplied) it by the number of rooms that you’re operating within your short-term rental,” he said.
There will also be a difference in how long these properties can be rented out for.
“Primary you can still rent out 365 days a year, providing that you’re there and on-site, but we’re only allowing 150 nights if you’re off-site,” Cormier said, adding non-primary residences max out at 29 nights per booking.
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Cormier said since then, the number of licenses an individual can have increased from a total of two to four.
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“We are still open to having discussions with operators and our platforms. There will be some future opportunity for us to report back, and to potentially look at making any changes. But what it is now, is what the bylaw states, and what we’re moving forward with,” he said.
Operators will also need to pay a five per cent accommodation tax to the city based on each booking.
“We’re still working on the fine details of exactly how that money will be remitted, but, that will be coming very shortly,” Cormier said. “I think the first quarter accommodation tax payments would be due roughly around the July 1st date.”
Cormier said there are several other rules folded into the STRA bylaw.
“There’s some measures we put in place for installing and maintaining safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide detectors, and smoke alarms,” he said. In addition to these are neighbourhood livability and zoning bylaw — both outside and inside of downtown — requirements, and regulations around information that needs to be posted in various areas.
For example, 24/7 emergency contacts, a general number to contact with issues, and STRA license numbers must be present in advertisements.
Zero Tolerance for Human Trafficking signage, also has to be visible, Cormier said.
“It was identified to us, really early, that potentially short-term rentals could be the avenue for (human trafficking),” he said. Cormier added it’s important that operators are provided with information that this does happen, “and we want them to be aware of it and to provide them with some resources to be able to deal with it if it should be happening within their short-term rental accommodation.”
Operators must also keep records to provide the city in the event of an investigation, and adhere to rules about capacity, he said, mentioning there is “a maximum number of two adults for bedrooms.”
Short-term rentals on agenda at City Hall
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