Business license required for all short-term rentals and B&Bs in Nanaimo | NanaimoNewsNOW

“The regulations would permit short-term rentals, accommodations in residential, commercial and downtown areas and corridors where the operator is a permanent resident of the dwelling unit or suite,” the Board Jeremy Holm, Director of Development Approvals.

Permanent residents would be defined by the owner making a property his primary residence for at least eight months of the year and the owner declaring it his home for legal purposes such as driver’s license, filing income or voter registration.

The new rules would also allow rentals of entire homes for the other four months of the year, in addition to rentals of parts of the property such as a bedroom or suite.

“Existing limits that currently apply to the number of B&Bs and guests permitted in B&Bs, which are currently permitted in city bylaws…would apply to other forms of rental accommodations in the short term,” Holm said.

These restrictions limit the number of rooms for rent in a house to two for a maximum of four adult people. Children are not officially considered “guests” in the rules.

Council also passed the first two readings of a parking by-law that would require a parking space for each short-term rental apartment.

Zoning by-law amendments are subject to a public hearing to be held at a later date.

A city-led survey in April and May 2021 found business license support for short-term rentals was predictably split. Non-operators or tenants were between 77 and 82% in favor of the license, compared to only 23% of operators.

A majority of landlords, whether tenants or not, were in favor of renting an entire home on the short-term market for the four-month limit. Only 44% of tenants are of the same opinion.

The City also met with various interested groups and organizations, including the Nanaimo Hospitality Association, Vancouver Island University and the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

Short-term rentals have proven to be a valuable sector of the local market, with properties popular with doctors or medical students visiting Nanaimo to work at the hospital. Rentals are also a frequent transition for new university students in the area until they can find a long-term option.

Mayor Leonard Krog was absent for the discussion, citing a conflict of interest. The remaining councilors unanimously adopted all of the staff’s recommendations.

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