New recommendations to Winnipeg short-term rental rules could change landscape – Winnipeg

Winnipeg’s city hall has responded to concerns about short-term rentals with a set of recommendations, which, if approved, would change the landscape of that industry in the city.

Noise and safety complaints from condo owners who lived near rental suites first arose two years ago, with statistics from Winnipeg police and paramedics showing a growing number of calls to those residences.

The city’s public service is recommending the city place five per cent sales taxes on all short-term rental bookings, like Airbnb — the same as it does for hotels.

The report also recommends more closely regulated ownership restrictions — limited largely to areas zoned for residential and commercial use.

You’d also only be able to have one property to rent out, not including your primary residence.

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Property manager Krystin Coyle, vice-president of the Short-Term Rentals Association and an Airbnb host, told 680 CJOB’s The News she sees a lot of positives in the city’s report.

“To be honest, I’m quite impressed with what the city has come up with,” Coyle said.

“I think there’s been a lot of thought put into it. There’s a lot at stake for a lot of people here — a lot of livelihoods. It’s great that they’ve taken the time and really listened to what the public has had to say.”

Coyle said regulation is the way to achieve a higher standard in the industry, and while some may not agree, she says the city’s proposals are fair for everyone involved.

“I think it’s innovative (compared) to what other cities have done. Winnipeg is an innovative city that has a lot to offer.”

Click to play video: 'Manitoba Hotel Association on regulating short-term rentals'

Manitoba Hotel Association on regulating short-term rentals

Not everyone is giving the city’s proposed changes such a glowing review, however.

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Sinan Leylek, who says he lives in a block where short-term rentals are a huge problem, told The News that the report seems to acknowledge the problem areas with short-term rentals, but does nothing to actually address them.

“I was reading the report and what really shocked me was that the report did note that multi-unit buildings like condos and apartments — and downtown residents — are most negatively impacted by short-term rentals … but then it goes on to recommend that primary residence bans don’t include the downtown area or multi-unit buildings,” Leylek said.

“So it’s kind of addressing that this is an issue, but (the city is) not going to actually do anything about this for people who live downtown or in multi-unit buildings.

“Multi-unit buildings, I believe, are one of the most negatively impacted, so I don’t know why they would look at us and flip it…. That doesn’t make any sense to me.”

Leylek said he’s also hoping for clarity on a few other points in the city’s report — namely, how the city will go about maintaining a 24-hour phone line that people can call with complaints about short-term rentals, and the ‘two people per bedroom’ restriction.

“There’s another recommendation there about restricting to people per bedroom in a short-term rental, but what does that mean about guests? Can a guest come over if they’re not staying the night?

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“Some work still needs to be done and I hope to attend the (council) meeting on Tuesday.”

The report heads to the executive policy committee next week, and if passed, would go on to full council.

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg Airbnb host on short-term rental regulations'

Winnipeg Airbnb host on short-term rental regulations


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