Winnipeg council to vote on whether Airbnb and short-term rentals will receive new rules

A handful of Airbnb owners say they support the city’s rules to keep short-term rentals safe, but hope Winnipeg won’t simply adopt the ideas of Toronto or other major cities.

“Toronto is much bigger than Winnipeg and shouldn’t be used as an example for our city which is about to grow,” said Chibuzor Alumba, a Winnipegger who rents an Airbnb.

The City of Winnipeg is considering regulating short-term residential rentals — like those listed on Airbnb — to combat concerns about fairness in the hospitality market, noise in high-density areas and even criminal activity .

City Council will decide on Thursday whether city staff should thoroughly review the new rules.

If council votes in favour, city staff will need to get input from Winnipeggers on what issues should be addressed by the new rules and review Toronto’s short-term rental rules to see what might apply to the Winnipeg situation – all within four months.

Players in the hospitality industry are eager to have certain restrictions, including limiting landlords to renting only parts of their own homes. This would weed out those who own units specifically for short-term rentals.

“The primary residence requirement addresses the security concerns that are so prevalent right now due to multiple unit operators,” said Scott Jocelyn, president and CEO of the Manitoba Hotel Association, who was in attendance at the council meeting.

He said short-term rentals were threatening the prosperity of Winnipeg hotels, especially after they suffered financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. The rule would make neighbors happy too, he said.

“When people rent out their primary residence, there is a much higher level of accountability to neighbors and the neighborhood. A primary residence requirement also addresses the very negative impact that short-term rentals have on availability and housing affordability.

This does not please some owners. Dominique Noel, owner of a bed and breakfast in St. Boniface that she rents through Airbnb, said the rule would “destroy” her business.

Not just for travelers

Her place not only welcomes travelers, but also newcomers, she says.

“A lot of us hosts are actually the first point of contact for a lot of them, because they make up a good chunk of our guests before they move into their own homes,” she said. told the board on Thursday.

“My space acts as a place where a family can comfortably adjust to their new surroundings with the help of their host.”

Alumba said he thinks there should be new rules, but there are many valid reasons why people use short-term rentals – he asked someone from outside Winnipeg to using her space as a private home during chemotherapy.

“Let’s make sure all parties are stopped in their tracks. Let’s make sure our neighbors feel safe. Let’s make sure there are fines for people who don’t take care of their homes and businesses. But let’s not restrict and just stop serving a wide range of people who need to use the service.”

The city council will make other decisions today that will affect the owners.

They will decide whether designated cannabis producers should be restricted to industrial areas only. The Council will vote whether to create a licensing system for these producers.

The council will also vote on some changes to the pet bylaw. They could scrap the breed-specific dog ban, delay a two-year pilot project to allow backyard chickens, and decide whether or not city staff should seek updates on animal rules. exotic.

Comments are closed.