Short-term rentals include familiar sources such as Vrbo, Airbnb, and a bed & breakfast operation. These types of rentals in Winnipeg will operate under new rules starting April 2024, and those renting out their homes, condos, and other properties need to be aware of how this will affect them. The most significant change is these short-term rentals will require a City of Winnipeg license to operate legally.
This update for Winnipeg helps align short-term rentals with what goes on in major cities. The goal is to offer some regulation for Vrbo, Airbnb, and bed & breakfast entities, says the Manager of Community Bylaw Enforcement Services, Winston Yee.
The updated rules will help offer a fair playing field for all involved in Winnipeg's accommodation sector. At the same time, it increases safety for renters by holding the owners of these rentals accountable. Respecting the neighbourhood and others residing in the location where these short-term rentals are also a reason behind the new rules for operation.
Properties That Can Be Short-Term Rentals
A considerable change is the properties allowed to operate as a short-term rentals. Any property purchased after February 23, 2023, can only be a short-term rental if it is also the owner's primary residence. There is a maximum of three properties someone can own that were purchased before that date, which they can use as short-term rentals.
Property renters can continue to offer short-term rentals as long as their landlord agrees to this use of the place. Many of them are offering the place for a short-term rental to gain extra income, but they have yet to share with their landlord that such a service is taking place at that property.
Limits On Bookings
A primary residence someone owns can be rented for up to 150 days per year as a short-term rental when the owner isn't there. If the owner is staying at the property along with the guests, there is no limit to the number of bookings annually. Any short-term rental can't exceed 29 days in a row by the same renter.
An accommodation tax for all short-term rentals, 5% of the total rental price, will be required. This is the same tax hotel rooms must collect, and now all short-term rentals will have to do the same. With Vrbo and Airbnb, the tax can be added when someone completes the booking process. It is the property owner's responsibility to confirm the accommodation tax is being collected. It must be paid to the government each quarter.
Many changes for short-term rentals in Winnipeg involve additional safety for everyone. This includes property owners, renters, and those residing in those neighbourhoods. Property owners must install and routinely inspect equipment for fire safety. They must post emergency exit plans and provide all guests with a phone number they can call 24 hours a day in the event of an emergency.
Unfortunately, short-term rentals can increase crime rates, so these safety standards are essential. All of the bylaws of the City of Winnipeg have to be followed with short-term rentals. Property owners must be aware of human sex trafficking issues. The property must display the phone number for the National Human Trafficking Education Centre.
Applications For Licencing
The applications for short-term rental licencing will be available in January 2024. Property owners are encouraged to read through the requirements and ask any questions. Rules, fees, and other information have been added online to help answer any questions. These new rules may have people second guess their decision to buy a home or condo as an investment property.