NOT JUST BED BUGS – Crawling Back Short-Term Rentals in Winnipeg

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Article2024 | 02 | 14

NOT JUST BED BUGS - Crawling Back Short-Term Rentals in Winnipeg

Children's boots on a door mat

Short-Term Rentals (“STR”), commonly just bed and breakfasts, have been all the craze over the past decade or so with the advent of Airbnb, Vrbo, and the like, surviving the pandemic, and their growth has not slowed down much to the demise of neighbouring property owners and those seeking affordable housing in the current housing crunch.  The only way to slow things down seems to be by way of municipal regulation and the City of Winnipeg (the “City”) has a plan in place effective April 1, 2024 (the “Commencement Date”).  If you are an existing property owner, a future property owner, a condominium board, a developer, a real estate agent, or have an STR or planning for an STR in the City, it is very important for you to know the new regulatory framework.

Although this regulatory framework has not garnered as much attention as it should, the City has done a fine job of placing the information on their website and we will provide that below.

A short summary of the licensing regime is as follows:

  • STRs are defined by the City as being temporary accommodations — such as a house, condominium, or apartment — rented for payment by a property owner or primary tenant for a continuous period of less than 30 nights. They also include bed-and-breakfasts offered within the owner’s residence.
  • Only properties purchased after February 23, 2023, can be operated as an STR if they are the owner’s primary residence. A maximum of three additional properties can be operated as STRs (four in total) if they were purchased on or before that date.  In essence, if you have more than three STRs, you might be able to have four but no more.
  • Primary residences can be rented for a maximum of 150 nights a year without the operator (there is no limit if the operator is in the residence during the stay). Non-primary residences have no restrictions on the number of nights a year that they can be rented.
  • Only owners of an existing STR must be a permanent resident of the City or a corporation “wholly” owned by residents of the City. If an existing STR is owned by someone who does not live in the City or by a corporation not “wholly” owned by the residents of the City it will not be permitted.
  • There is a tax, being a hotel equivalent five percent accommodation tax.
  • There are now requirements to install and maintain fire safety equipment, place and display license numbers, zero tolerance for human trafficking and emergency exit plans/signage, provide guests with a 24/7 emergency contact number, maintain and keep records, and take bookings only through a licensed platform.
  • There are annual rental licence fees applicable as follows: https://www.winnipeg.ca/services-programs/permits-licences-0/business-licences/short-term-rental-accommodations/fees
  • The application is as follows: https://www.winnipeg.ca/short-term-rental-accommodation-platform-application

TAKEAWAY

It is important to be in compliance with the new regulations in time for the Commencement Date and in particular to take note of the newly instated City residency requirements if you are not a resident of a City, own an existing STR via a corporation (as the residency of another co-owner can affect you), or have a qualifying property for an STR but do not intend to be a resident of the City in the future.

 


DISCLAIMER: This article is presented for informational purposes only. The views expressed are solely the author(s)’ and should not be attributed to any other party, including Taylor McCaffrey LLP. While care is taken to ensure accuracy, before relying upon the information in this article you should seek and be guided by legal advice based on your specific circumstances. The information in this article does not constitute legal advice or solicitation and does not create a solicitor-client relationship. Any unsolicited information sent to the author(s) cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

If you would like legal advice, kindly contact the author(s) directly or the firm's Chief Operating Officer at pknapp@tmlawyers.com, or 204.988.0356.



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Kevin Nenka
Kevin Nenka
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