Vancouver plans to license short-term rentals

Anyone planning to rent their principal residence, or part of it, in the City of Vancouver for less than 30 days (a short-term rental) will soon be required to have a special business licence.

Vancouver is proposing the new business licence in principal residences, whether owned or rented.rentals1

The goal is to protect existing rental homes and ensure they’re available for long-term rental.

“Vancouver is striking a balance in our approach to short-term rentals that ensures the best use of all our housing. Long term rental supply will be protected and residents will be able to do short-term rentals in their principal residences,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson.

“Housing is first and foremost for homes, not operating a business. Our research and broad public input tell us we can have short-term rentals in Vancouver to help supplement income, while ensuring long term rentals are back in the rental market.”

To obtain a short-term rental business licence, principal residents would need to prove:

  • control of the home, through a copy of title or tax assessment (owners), or signed tenancy agreement (renters) that permits short-term sublets;
  • the property’s strata by-laws must not prohibit short-term rentals; and
  • regular personal business at this address, through a valid government ID with photo and address and a utility bill or piece of government correspondence dated within the last three months.

Short-term rentals would be illegal in homes that aren’t principal residences, including empty and investment properties or structures such as boats or trailers that aren’t dwellings.

Short-term rental licensees may be subject to a hotel or other tax that will be re-invested to fund affordable housing initiatives.

The city will continue to consult with stakeholders, including Airbnb and other listing sites, and the hotel and tourism industry on implementation and enforcement of the new regulations, including finalizing the type of tax.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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