Vancouver puts new restrictions on vacation lets
Vancouver, Canada – 6 July 2017 –
Vancouver has introduced new restrictions on Airbnb, Expedia’s HomeAway unit and other short-term rental operators as Canada’s priciest housing market seeks to ease its near-zero supply of homes to let.
“Housing is first and foremost for homes, not to be operated as a business,” Mayor Gregor Robertson told reporters.
Under the new rules, residents will only be able to rent principal residences and will be required to obtain a business license and pay as much as a 3 percent tax on stays. Rentals of secondary suites, laneway homes and investment properties will be prohibited. City officials said they would be ready to pursue legal action against violators, as well as a C$1,000 (US$770) fine.
The city estimates there are more than 5,000 active short-term listings in Vancouver even though zoning regulations prohibit renting a home for fewer than 30 days. Only licensed bed-and-breakfasts are allowed to do so.
HomeAway, Airbnb and other home-rental websites argue that travellers are increasingly turning to them and skipping traditional hotels altogether.