What the effect AirBnB is having on Vancouver’s housing market seems to be a question in people’s minds lately, or at least that’s the case for Vancouver city councillor Geoff Meggs.
Councillor Meggs is making a motion next week at Council that urges the city move faster to regulate AirBnB rentals.
LISTEN: Lynda’s Steele full interview with Vancouver Councillor Geoff Meggs
He says Vancouver is not the only city to have to act on this matter.
“Other cities have had to do this, it’s been an increasing concern here though because we think the number of units listed is probably undermining the number of units available for rental and that’s hurting tenants in the city by reducing our vacancy rates.”
Recently, 24-year-old student, Theresa Mansell, was evicted from her home in Burnaby only to find out the place was later listed on AirBnB.
A study in December revealed there were nearly 4,800 Vancouver units up for rent on the website as of December 3rd 2015, up from about 1,000 in six months.
Meggs says some owners are also trying to control Strata Council to go around the rules.
“Someone will buy a unit use it for AirBnB, which may or may not be allowed under the rules, probably not allowed under city rules. They’ll then buy several more units and then use proxies to even take control of the Strata Council. So you may be in a building and find that you don’t have enough votes to stop the security risks and other problems that arise from these short-term rentals.”
Meggs says there needs to be a better system in place so the city can act when it needs to step in.
“Everybody realizes we are going to see change, that’s not the question, the idea is how do we manage this so that we don’t have negative impacts on people who live here long-term. And that’s what I think it’s the biggest concern.”
He says the city has only seen the tip of he iceberg when it comes to AirBnB.