Short-Term Online Rental Marketplace (STORM)

The Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), in partnership with the Hotel Association of Canada, has released a new study which demonstrates that commercial operators are growing exponentially, far outpacing actual home sharing activity.

View the full news release here.

The Issue:

The sharing economy is adding inventory to Alberta’s supply of guest accommodation without building a single new hotel.  Home-sharing platforms, such as Airbnb and others, appeal to a certain segment of travellers and to homeowners wanting to augment their income; however unregulated rentals and the home-sharing platforms that promote them have created unintended consequences, such as:

  • Loss of affordable housing due to the financial incentive to convert homes and condominiums to short term rentals,
  • Impacts to property values:
  • Increasing values as investors seek to purchase property in prime areas that offer attractive returns on investment through commercial home-sharing activity, or
  • Lowering values as a result of noise, nuisance and safety impacts on neighbours.
  • Lost hours of work for those employed in the regulated accommodation industry, and
  • Lost tax revenues for government.

Toronto, Vancouver, and a number of American cities are already feeling the impact of these unintended consequences.

The AHLA recommends that the Government of Alberta:

  • Review & modernize legislation including the Condominium Property Act, Residential Tenancies Act, Innkeepers Act, and Tourism Levy Act to reflect the new realities of the sharing economy.
  • Permit a maximum of 30 room nights for short-term online rentals and home-sharing.
  • Make home-sharing platforms legally responsible for:
    • Collecting and remitting the Tourism Levy on behalf of hosts, and
    • Sharing information related to host listings and rental activity
  • Require all providers of short term accommodation to comply with cleanliness, health, and safety regulations.

The AHLA encourages Alberta municipalities to:

  • Restrict home-sharing activity to principal residences only for a maximum of 30 nights.
  • Require all providers of short term accommodation to hold a current business licence and occupancy permit and carry adequate property and liability insurance.
  • Require all providers of short term accommodation to comply with municipal bylaws and zoning.
  • Require Short Term Rental platforms like Airbnb to be licenced with the municipality.
View the AHLA’s position on the Short Term Online Rental Marketplace