Short-Term Rentals

Short-term rental image

Overview

Amendments to City of Nanaimo Zoning and Parking Bylaws were adopted on February 7, 2022 to allow and regulate the operation of short-term rentals within a primary residence in zones where residential use is permitted. 

Although the requirement to obtain a business licence for the operation of a short-term rental or a bed and breakfast is a new process, regulations pertaining to bed and breakfasts are not new. 

Recent bylaw amendments define a short term rental as the temporary rental (less than 30 consecutive days) of a residence, a portion of the residence (such as a room), a secondary suite or a carriage house and may or may not include breakfast.  By definition then, short-term rentals specifically includes bed and breakfast rentals.

Why is a business licence required?

In September 2018, Council adopted the Affordable Housing Strategy which provided a framework for City staff to work collaboratively with the provincial government and non-profit organizations for the identification and implementation of strategies to address non-market and market housing affordability and availability within the city.  Increasing the rental housing supply and minimizing the impact that short-term rentals have on the availability of suitable living accommodations for long-term renters was identified as a top priority.

By licensing your short-term rental and following bylaw regulations and the recommendations outlined in the Short-Term Rental Operator's Guidebook, you're helping to limit negative impacts to the long-term rental market and neighbourhoods while supporting equity amongst all short-term accommodation providers.

Where it is determined that a licence cannot be issued for the operation of a short-term rental due to non-compliance with bylaws, or where the residence is not a primary residence, it's anticipated that a portion of property owners will consider renting on a longer term basis and thus increasing the long-term rental stock.

How much is the business licence fee?

The business licence fee for a short-term rental is $165 for the entire year.  If you're not starting at the beginning of a new year, the fee is pro-rated quarterly for your first year of business. Short-term rental operators are required to renew their licence annually and ensure all account information is accurate and up-to-date for the new operating year. Renewal notices will be mailed or email (for MyCity account holders) in early December and licence fees are due by December 31st each year regardless of booking start dates. 

How to apply for a short-term rental business licence?

Residents interested in operating a short-term rental from their primary residence may submit a business licence application any time after April 1, 2022.

What is a parking plan?

As part of your short-term rental business licence application, a plan illustrating your total parking requirement is required.  Keep in mind that all parking must be contained to the property and that guest parking is not permitted on the street.

How to calculate the parking requirement?

As an example, and based on the information provided in the table below (obtained from the Off-Street Parking Regulations Bylaw), if you reside in a single family dwelling with a secondary suite and you'd like to offer one room within the main dwelling as a short-term rental, you'd require 4 off-street parking spaces.  On the other hand, if you're utilizing a one-bedroom suite as a short-term rental, then you'd need 3 off-street parking spaces. 

UseParking Requirement
Single Residential Dwelling2
Secondary Suite or Carriage House1
Duplex or Two Detached Dwellings4
Row House2
Short-Term Rental1 per guest booking

Once the required number of parking spaces has been determined, the information can then be drawn onto an aerial snapshot of your property.  To access an aerial view of your property, check out the NanaimoMap and type in your address.  Did you know that NanaimoMap also provides the tools to draw rectangular parking spaces directly onto the aerial?

Alternatively, you can submit a hand-drawn plan of your property illustrating garages and/or carports and driveways and the total number of parking spaces available.

Strata developments present unique parking requirements.  Please ensure that before a parking plan is submitted, that it has been pre-approved and signed by the strata council or the strata president.

Providing a complete and accurate plan ensures that your application package can be reviewed without delay.

What happens if your short-term rental business licence application is denied?

A short-term rental business licence application can be denied for a variety of reasons pertaining to bylaw requirements, all of which will be communicated to you as soon as possible.  If your application has been denied, please be aware that as per Section 12 of the Business Licence Bylaw, you can request that Council reconsider your application.  If this is something you'd like to pursue, please submit your reasons for reconsideration to LegislativeServiceOffice@nanaimo.ca.

Additional information and resources

Any questions?

The Business Licensing team is here to assist you if you have any questions in regard to the information provided or the business licence application process.  We can be reached by phone at 250-755-4482 or via email at business.licence@nanaimo.ca.

 



Last updated: April 13, 2022

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