Vancouver Bans Some Short-Term AirBnB Rentals


Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson speaks during an interview with Reuters as he attends at the C40 Mayors Summit at a hotel in Mexico City on Nov. 30, 2016.

Vancouver has banned owners of basement suites and laneway houses from listing them on Airbnb after a heated debate in which some city councillors warned that homeowners would not be able to pay their mortgages without the extra income.

City council approved new regulations in a 7-4 vote Tuesday for vacation websites such as Airbnb and Expedia. The rules prohibit hosts from listing homes that are not their principal residence, including any secondary suites on their property.

Mayor Gregor Robertson and members of his Vision Vancouver party defended the rules as necessary because the vacancy rate is just above zero and housing is needed for long-term renters.

I can’t imagine doing nothing.Mayor Gregor Robertson

“I’m stunned to hear that some councillors don’t believe there’s a problem here. We have 6,000 illegal short-term rentals in the city,” he said.

“I can’t imagine doing nothing.”

The new regulations will come into effect on April 1, 2018. Hosts must buy a business licence that costs $49 annually, plus spend $54 on a one-time application fee, and display their licence number in online listing. Those who fail to comply will face a $1,000 ticket per violation.

Homeowners will still be allowed to list an individual room inside their principal residence. Tenants who are renting a basement apartment or laneway house will be allowed to list it on Airbnb, as long as it’s their principal residence and they have permission from the owner.

Some short-term rental hosts criticized the proposed rules at a public hearing last month, saying the changes will deprive them of much-needed income.

Watch: AirBnB amps up public relations campaign as Vancouver housing crisis worsens

Councillors from the opposing Non-Partisan Association echoed those concerns on Tuesday, with Coun. George Affleck warning that homeowners who depend on the extra income will be forced to leave Vancouver or lead “very challenging lives.”

Affleck said the …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada

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