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Urbanized, News

Calgary hotels pushing back against lack of Airbnb regulations

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DH Calgary Staff Aug 16, 2018 11:01 am

The lack of regulations surrounding Airbnb rentals in Calgary has left the Calgary Hotel Association (CHA) calling for stronger governmental oversight.

Airbnb, the San Francisco-based company that allows homeowners to rent their property, rooms, or beds out to people through an app for short-term stays, has gone beyond its initial purpose of true home sharing in Calgary, a release from CHA argues.

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The release stated that roughly 30% of Airbnb units are rented out for more than 90 days a year in Calgary, and that 5% are rented for more than 180 days — turning these Airbnb owners into commercial operators.

“We fully support an open and fair competitive market for short-term rentals,” said Peggy Athans, Executive Director of the CHA, in the release.

“But Calgary’s short-term rental industry operates with limited regulation. To protect consumers, and treat everyone fairly, it’s important that government put all commercial operators – including those who are operating as such on Airbnb – on a level playing field.”

The CHA — alongside the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) — has put forward a regulatory framework that they say all levels of government across the country should implement.

This framework includes the application of the following regulatory tools:

  • Registration of host and collection of fees
  • Registration of platform and collection of fees
  • Restriction of short-term rentals to principal residences
  • Cap on usage to less than 90 days
  • Health and safety standards
  • Reporting requirements
  • Taxation/levies collected
  • Enforcement/penalties

“Striking the right balance will protect Calgary communities and ensure that visitors continue to experience a safe and enjoyable Calgary stay,” said Athans in the release.

More information on the proposed guideline can be found at fairrules.ca.

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