Want to list your Vancouver home on AirBnB? You might soon need a business license for that.
The city is crafting a new short-term-rental bylaw which could go into effect by the end of the year.
Councillor Geoff Meggs says the city has growing concerns the rentals are eating into already scarce rental housing stock.
“It’s been doubling every year since 2013. It’s incredibly easy to register as a host, and AirBnB is very, very aggressive in encouraging its hosts to rent and rent and rent again. We’ve known for some time that this market for AirBnB alone is one of the 10 most important in North America.”
Results show a high number of whole homes up for rent
The data collected over the last year show 5,000 units being listed through AirBnB and similar platforms. Three quarters of the listings are for entire homes, apartments or condos.
He says the city is now crunching the numbers, some from AirBnB and some from a consulting firm hired to look into its competitors, with the goal of crafting new rules by the end of the year.
That could include making hosts prove they have a business license.
Holding AirBnB and its users accountable
“What we’re saying is the law will be relevant to this online platform, and we would expect AirBnB in line with its commitments to make sure that people are following the rules.”
Vancouver’s rental vacancy rate currently sits at 0.6%, one of the lowest in Canada.
The city will be launching an online survey about the issue Wednesday with public consultations slated for the fall.
Highest concentration of rentals by neighborhood according to City of Vancouver data
- Downtown – 31%
- Mount Pleasant/Renfrew – 15%
- Kitsilano/Point Grey – 14%
- East Hastings – 14%