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As reported in Metro News by Jen St. Denis, Vancouver’s city council  has been considering how to regulate short-term rentals like Airbnb. While it is clear that short-term rentals can assist with the high cost of home ownership in Vancouver, it also takes away housing stock from the local rental market.
Short-term rentals (called STR by the City) are defined as a home or a room that is rented for less than thirty days. Starting April 2018, short-term rentals will be allowed based upon this report from the October 2017 public hearing. Prior to April, only hotels and bed and breakfast places that are in the correct zone and properly licensed are allowed to be in short-term rental situations.
Residents can only rent their houses or apartments if it is their primary home, and laneway houses or basement suites cannot be rented short-term. In order to gain compliance residents must obtain a $49 dollar annual business  license, and that number must be disclosed in any advertising listing. Of course regulation of housing compliance will need to be in place with a budget of $256,000 expected for “enforcement, administration and a new communications hire to explain the new rules to Vancouverites.”
The City of Vancouver already has a page on their website where you report on “concerns” of alleged illegal short-term rentals that are not following the new rules, and you can also look up more information on the decision-making process that resulted in this new  regulation which will be enacted for April 2018.
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Comments

  1. Said it before and got roasted, but I’ll say it again. It’s not individual home owners responsibility to provide rental housing. It’s all of our collective responsibility and that’s one reason we have government to address that issue on a City wide basis.
    Build more housing. More rental housing. More co-op’s. Build it across the City on major streets and off. All of those are actions the City can take to equitably deliver housing for renters, something we all agree needs doing. I also agree with banning commercial airbnb operations and people with multiple listings.
    But banning people from renting out their basement suite in their primary residence for parts of the year is way too heavy handed.
    I also struggle with the notion around the need for the short term rental space to be ‘legal’. It must be legal for safety reasons (height, fire plan, etc) which is fine, but if you rent it out long term to a resident, all of that gets waived. Well, ok…so it has to be legal for a short term renter for their safety, but long term renters–meh.

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