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Short-term rentals

Before you apply


Definition of a short term rental

A short term rental is defined as the business of providing temporary accommodation for compensation, in a dwelling unit or portion of a dwelling unit for periods of up to 30 consecutive days. Businesses that have been issued a permit for a bed and breakfast are not classified as short term rentals.

Useful guides

The good host guide was developed to provide hosts with an overview of regulations and processes, including tips and a checklist. The good guest guide​ was developed to provide knowledge on expectations, accommodation practices and support through booking to stay.

What are the rules and regulations?


Short term rentals in secondary suites

A secondary suite is a self-contained dwelling unit within principal residences or in backyards. They have separate living, cooking, sleeping, and bathroom facilities. Some hosts may choose to rent a secondary or backyard suite as a short term rental. In this case, the suite must meet the requirements for a legal secondary suite. If being used as a short term rental, the host must have a short term rental licence. For more information, visit on secondary suites Calgary.ca/suites.

Please note that secondary suites are not permitted within a dwelling unit that operates as a lodging house.

Regulations

Short term rental hosts need to be aware of the following regulations under the Business Licence Bylaw:

 

Regulation type Description Purpose

Egress

A host cannot rent a room that does not have one or more egress windows. (Multi-storied apartment/condo buildings have existing fire safety standards and do not need egress windows.) 

Other regulations: Egress in a multi-storied building, such as an apartment building or apartment style condominium, is regulated under the Fire codes and standards.

Ensure the safety of guests in the event of a fire or other incident where a guest would have to evacuate.​

Maximum number of guests

A host cannot allow more than two adults, not including minors​, per room. As the definition of short term rental in the bylaw is 30 days or less, longer term stays are not covered in the bylaw.

Other regulations: Fire codes and standards

Ensuring the safety of guests and neighbors by addressing overcrowding issues.​

Overlapping bookings

A host cannot allow overlapping bookings of two or more bookings for the dwelling at the same time. This means an host cannot rent out separate rooms to separate guests under separate reservations but can rent out multiple rooms as part of one guest reservation.

Ensure consumer protection of guests and transparency between host and guest while reducing community impacts.

Advertising

A host must include the business licence number in any advertising for the short term rental. Discouraged unlicensed hosts and advise guests that properties require a business licence in Calgary. 

Emergency contact

A host must post the name, phone number and email address (in a conspicuous location) of an emergency contact person who can be reached 24 hours a day. An emergency contact template is available here​

Ensure guests and enforcement authorities can address issues if they arise.

Guest record

A host must keep a record in English and in an electronic form that is satisfactory to the Chief Licence Inspector. Hosts must keep permanent records for each transaction and provide it to the Inspector upon demand. The record must include:

Ensure transparency of hosts for guests and the Chief Licence Inspector.​

Fines for Non-compliance

The City’s approach is to achieve voluntary compliance for bylaws whenever possible. This means we will work with hosts when possible to ensure they are complying with the bylaw. Failing to abide by the regulations can result in a $1,000 fine for each of the following offenses upon conviction:

Offense Section of the bylaw
Offer a room without a window  58.1(4)(a)
​Permit guests to sleep in a room without a window 58.1(4)(b)
Allow more than 2 adults per room 58.1(5)
Overlapping bookings 58.1(6)
Fail to include licence number on advertisement 58.1(7)
​Fail to post emergency contact information 58.1(8)
Fail to keep record 58.1(9)
Fail to provide records on demand 58.1(10)​
  • Phase 1 Short Term Rental Study: What We Heard Report

    The What We Heard report from phase 1 of our Short-Term Rental Study, in collaboration with the University of Calgary, is now available. This comprehensive report encapsulates feedback and insights gathered from Calgarians, highlighting key themes and suggestions that will guide our future initiatives. Visit the Engage page to access and download the report.

  • Improving short term rental impact to condo boards

    November 29, 2023

    Hear from The City’s Licensing teams as they discuss the evolving licensing requirements that affect the short-term rental industry. Stay up to date on how you can stay compliant and succeed in this dynamic market.

  • Are you a short-term rental host?

    Download our poster to place in your property for guests to access and download the Good Guide Guest!

    Unleash the power of exceptional guest etiquette with the Good Guest Guide.

Overview of the regulations


Short Term Rental - Tier 1

Licence category Short Term Rental - Tier 1

Number of Bookings

1

Number of Rooms

1-4

Number of Occupants

1-8 (Not including minors under age of 12)

Property Requirement

Primary/Secondary

Consecutive Days

30 or less

Business Licence Cost

$100

Fire Inspection Cost

$110

AHS Inspection Cost

N/A

Total Cost

$210

Short Term Rental - Tier 2

Licence category Short Term Rental - Tier 2

Number of Bookings

1

Number of Rooms

5+

Number of Occupants

9+ (Not including minors under age of 12)

Property Requirement

Primary/Secondary

Consecutive Days

30 or less

Business Licence Cost

$172

Fire Inspection Cost

$110

AHS Inspection Cost

N/A

Total Cost

$282

How much will it cost?


As of February 1, 2020, the Business Licence Bylaw includes a two-tiered business licence category for short term rental hosts. All hosts must have a separate short term business licence for each property they rent out.

Effective April 11, 2024, all licensees (Tier 1 and Tier 2) are required to undergo a fire inspection for their short-term rental property before the business licence will be issued. This applies to both new applications and renewals.

Tier Room Cost
Tier 1 1 to 4 rooms offered for rent $100 per property plus the cost of a fire inspection of $110 per property
Tier 2 5 or more rooms offered for rent  $172 per property plus the cost of a fire inspection of $110 per property

How long will it take?


Timelines indicated are not a guarantee and depend on volumes, application completeness, and the applicant’s timely replies to additional information requests from the City.

Review information on timelines and the approvals process

How to prepare your application

Once you know how and where your business will operate, you’re ready to apply.

For a smooth application, make sure you know the following information:

  • Business Activities
  • Location of Business
  • Fee payment at the time of application*
  • Ownership
  • Name of Business
  • Contact information for the business and owner
  • If you are applying online, a myID account
  • Two pieces of government issued identification

Apply


Tips for a smooth application process

Before you apply

Download the checklist and check each application requirement as you prepare to submit your application. Items listed on the checklist are the minimum requirements. We might need more information after we review your application.

Provide all required documents on the checklist, including drawings, supporting material, and any additional forms. If you are not sure if something is required, contact the Planning Services Centre

Use sample drawings to review what you need to include on your plans

Double check your documents are completed and make sure you have all required items on your plans before you upload them

After you apply

The Planning Services Centre may contact you for more information required for your application. Follow-up on requests for more information as quickly as possible. 

Use the Job Access Code (JAC) to check status updates for your application on calgary.ca/vista

  • You’ll get a JAC by e-mail after you’ve submitted your application. If you did not receive a JAC number, contact the Planning Services Centre.
  • Checking your application’s status using your JAC will provide you with timely updates about the status of your application

What is a complete application?

A complete application means that you have provided all the necessary requirements for our teams to complete their reviews. You should provide everything listed on the Complete Application Requirement List, including plans, supporting documents and payment.

An application for a permit may be refused  if, within ninety (90) days from the date of receipt,  if adequate information and documentation is not supplied as requested by the Safety Codes Officer. Should a permit be considered for refusal, the applicant will be given notification in writing and 30 days to resubmit the missing information. For more information, please review Building advisory A19-002 building permit complete application.

Apply online

To apply online, you need a myID account. Create a myID account.

We’re currently experiencing higher than seasonal application volumes, we apologize for delays. To check the status of your permit, go to vista.calgary.ca and enter in your Job Access Code (JAC) number

Apply in-person

Complete the Short Term Rental Business Licence Application Requirement List.

Once you have gathered all required documents, you can apply for your permit in person by visiting the Planning Services Centre.

After you apply


How to check the status of your licence

After you submit your application online, you will get a confirmation email with a Job Access Code (JAC).

To track your application and check its status, enter your Job Access Code in Vista.

If you need help or have questions, contact our Planning Services Centre

What are the required approvals?


Calgary Fire Department Safety Approvals

To learn more about fire safety responsibilities for short term rental owners download the latest information on fire code requirements.

Download and review our Fire Safety Escape Plan

To learn more about fire safety responsibilities for short term rental owners download the latest information on fire code requirements here.

New regulations effective Jan 1, 2024

Calgary City Council approved changes to the Business Licence Bylaw to require a business licence and regulations for short term rental (STR) hosts in Calgary that will come into effect on January 1, 2024. 

Comments, complaints and more information


For compliments or complaints regarding short term rentals, call 311, use the app or go to Calgary.ca/311

For more information about business licensing, visit: Calgary.ca/myBusiness and Bylaws related to businesses​.

For more on long-term rentals of secondary suites, visit calgary.ca/suites. Or learn more about other housing options, such as lodging housing.

 


Planning Services Centre

Hours:
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. (MT)

Live chat:
calgary.ca/livechat

Call:
403-268-5311

In person: 
Planning Services Centre,
3rd floor, Municipal building 
800 Macleod Trail SE

Book an eAppointment for in person services at appointment.calgary.ca

We do regular research with businesses to better understand the outlook and viewpoint of the business community. If you are a business owner, leader or manager, join our online business research panel, Business Perspectives.