Councillor Ward Sutherland calls for regulation of Airbnb rentals

Click to play video: 'Calgary city council set to discuss short-term rental regulation' Calgary city council set to discuss short-term rental regulation
WATCH: One Calgary city councillor believes short-term rentals, like those listed on Airbnb, should fall under a set of regulations. Joel Senick explains why that sentiment isn’t shared by everyone – Nov 17, 2017

Councillor Ward Sutherland said Thursday there have been so many problems he couldn’t have even “imagined” for people next to Airbnb locations that he wants a bylaw introduced to regulate short-term rentals in Calgary.

The Ward 1 councillor said there are currently no regulations surrounding short-term rentals in the city, as renting residential property doesn’t currently require municipal approvals.

LISTEN: Councillor Ward Sutherland on Airbnb and short-term rentals

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Sutherland said over the past four months, eight different issues have come up in his ward alone.

“We have one house, for example, that rents out five rooms. Imagine you’re living beside them and four houses down you’re getting, constantly, every few nights, someone banging on your door at 1 a.m.,” he said.

“Or they’re partying, or they’re out on your driveway smoking and drinking because they’re not allowed to at that particular property.”

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If the motion is approved on Monday, Sutherland wants city administration to create a business license model as the short-term rentals generate revenue.

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He also wants regulations when it comes to land use and fire and safety codes, with a report coming back to city council in late 2018.

Sutherland said he’s bringing this forward now because it’s a growing problem.

“I really feel sorry for the residents. I’ve talked to them all personally and as I dug through the weeds, I found out it this is actually very complicated.”

Sutherland also believes that under new city charter legislation, the four per cent tourism fee that hotels currently charge will have to be levied by short-term rental operators.

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