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City of Calgary Rental suites

Nov 28, 2023

Key changes to short-term rental business licences


On June 6, 2023, The City of Calgary took a significant step in enhancing the regulation of short-term rentals, approving crucial bylaw changes that will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.

These changes, aimed at fostering accountability, improving safety, and minimizing negative community impacts, mark the city's commitment to creating a fair and sustainable environment for residents, visitors, and businesses alike.

Starting January 2024, both current and prospective short-term rental hosts will be required to obtain a business licence to provide temporary accommodation for compensation. The key changes to the business licence requirements include:

  • Detailed floor plans: Hosts must provide a comprehensive floor plan of the dwelling unit, indicating all rooms available for rent, including bedrooms and sleeping areas, as well as the location of smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, fire exits, and room dimensions.
  • Proof of ownership or consent: Proof of ownership of the dwelling unit or written consent from the property owner is mandatory.
  • Condo approval: If the property is in a condominium, hosts need written proof from the condo board indicating that short-term rentals are permitted.
  • Insurance coverage: Hosts must provide proof of insurance indicating that the location is operating as a business.
  • Licence inspector review: A thorough review by a Licence Inspector will be conducted as part of the licensing process.
  • Annual fire inspections: The Calgary Fire Department will conduct annual fire inspections to ensure compliance with all life safety requirements.

Greater accountability, enhanced safety, and improved community impact

The new licensing requirements focus on three key areas:

  • Greater accountability: Licence applications will necessitate proof of property owner consent, ensuring a responsible approach to short-term rentals.
  • Enhanced safety: Rentals are now required to have a fire safety plan, undergo fire inspections, and provide proof of liability insurance coverage for the property.
  • Improved community impact: Property reviews will be conducted to ensure that short-term rentals operate in a manner that does not disturb the peace of neighbouring individuals, enhancing the overall quality of life for residents.

How to prepare for the changes

For short-term rental property hosts looking to navigate the upcoming changes seamlessly, here are a few steps to take:

  • Familiarize yourself with application requirements: Understand the updated application requirements thoroughly.
  • Gather required documents: Ensure you have all necessary documents, including floor plans, proof of insurance, and authorization letters, for a smooth application process.

Upcoming webinars and resources

To assist hosts in adapting to the changes, The City of Calgary is organizing a webinar on Nov. 29, 2023, covering the latest business licence requirements for short-term rentals. Additionally, hosts can access resources such as posters and the Good Guest Guide to enhance the guest experience.

Apply for a business licence

Once hosts have gathered all required documents, they can apply for their licence online or in person at the Planning Service Centre. The Planning Service Centre is also available to answer any questions and provide guidance throughout the application process.

These changes to short-term rental business licences represent a proactive approach by The City of Calgary to create a thriving and responsible short-term rental industry, benefitting hosts, guests, and the community.

As a REALTOR®, it's good to know this information and ensure your clients engaging in short-term rental businesses are aware of it as well. Hosts are encouraged to stay informed, prepare accordingly, and engage with the city's resources to ensure a smooth transition into the new regulatory landscape.

For more information, visit the The City of Calgary website.

ICYMI: Check out this REALTips article on helping your clients buy and sell short-term rentals.


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