Vancouver has joined a number of major cities, including London, Paris, Barcelona, San Francisco and New York, in regulating the practice of short-term vacation rentals through online hosting sites like Airbnb.
At stake are potential lost lodging tax revenues in these popular destination cities, as well as the availability of long-term housing for local residents.
Vancouver City Council has approved short-term rentals — less than 30 days — for both property owners and tenants. About 75 percent of the current 6,000 or so listings will become legal under these new regulations.
Lawmakers say the new restrictions will free up much-needed rental housing for local residents.
Beginning in April, 2018, those who wish to rent their principal residence short-term will have to apply for a business licence at a cost of $49, along with a one-time fee of $54. Anyone who rents without a licence could be fined up to $1,000 per infraction.
Tenants can post listings and host vacation rentals, including nightly rentals, unless the landlord has prohibited these short-term sublets. The same is true for renters if a strata does not allow short-term rentals. Only short-term sublets of 30 days or more will be allowed in secondary suites.
Vancouver landlords may want to consider adding language to their tenancy agreements that addresses short-term vacation rentals. There are a number of risks associated with allowing tenants to host vacation guests, including:
The tenant screening process for nightly guests tends to be lax, so hosts may not know who has access to the property;
Other tenants complain about the lack of privacy and security;
Out-of-town guests have caused disturbances and prompted police calls;
Multiple short-term rentals can cause more wear and tear and increase the likelihood of property damage; and
Costs may spike for landlords who pay for utilities.
Vancouver officials warn that from now until the regulations go into effect, short-term listings in private homes may be illegal. Compliance will be complaint-driven, with priority given to unsafe and nuisance properties. Problem properties will be reported using the city’s VanConnect system.
This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.