Vancouver plans to regulate short-term rentals

Posted on July 25th, 2017

To protect long-term rental housing stock Vancouver is proposing to regulate short-term rentals (STRs).

An STR is a rental for less than 30 days in a residentially zoned property, other than a bed and breakfast (B&B).

There are upwards of one thousand STRs within the City of Vancouver listed on websites such as AirBnB, VRBO, Craigslist and others.

The City of Vancouver’s proposed new rules would legalize:

  • up to 70% of existing ‘entire unit’ (the whole home); and
  • most ‘private room’ STR listings.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson estimates this will bring more than 1,000 rental homes onto the market.

How it will work

  • Home owners and renters (with the owner’s permission) will be required to buy an annual $49 business license and a one-time $54 activation fee.
  • STR operators must comply with building safely, neighbourhood fit, and STR advertising and booking requirements.
  • STR Operators must list their business license number on site, and STR websites will only list STRs with valid business licenses.

Not permitted

  • STRs won’t be allowed in non-principal residences, legal secondary suites,  laneway homes that aren’t principal residences, or in illegal secondary suits.

Taxes
STR operators and websites advertising them will be required to pay provincial sales tax and federal income tax.

STR websites will pay a transaction fee of up to three per cent to Vancouver to help fund the administration and enforcement of licensing STRs.

Have your say
Vancouver will host a public hearing this autumn and the new rules are expected to be enacted by April, 2018.

Read the staff presentation (41 page pdf). Read the staff policy report (71 page pdf)

If you own a property with a short-term rental unit
Plan to attend the public hearing and find out everything you can about the new rules, once enacted, to avoid fines.

For information, contact your Royal Pacific Realty Group Realtor®.