What you need to know about the new AirBnB regulations in Vancouver BC

On Tuesday November 14th, city of Vancouver has approved regulations making AirBnB rentals legal to operate within city limits. Vancouver is the first major Canadian city to regulate short-term rentals. Starting April 2018 homeowner will have to become part of city’s new regulatory regime for short-term home rentals, approved by council last week.

To become a part of cities licensing system will cost a one time activations fee of $54, plus $49 per year for the licence. All postings on AirBnB will have to include the homeowner’s licence number. If homeowners choose to operate without a licence they can face a fine of $1,000.

All income from short term rentals will have to be reported to Canadian Revenue Agency. Even if the generated income is very small. AirBnB said that they will not share personal information, and address of hosts with the CRA. But the the City of Vancouver will have its own list of names and addresses of short-term rental hosts. The city said Friday that information will be shared, upon request, with the CRA and other government agencies.

Here is in my opinion the most important and the most controversial regulation: individuals will be allowed to rent only their principal residences. Suites in basements, above garages or in coach houses can no longer be offered as short-term rentals.  In other words the city of Vancouver wants homeowners to rent out their basement suites and laneway houses for long-term rental leases instead. Penalties for not complying with this regulation are still nuclear.

The city is hoping that all of the regulations for short-term rentals will create more long-term rentals for the local residents.

There are still a lot of questions to be answered about those new short-term rentals regulations and the over all success of the licensing program. I will centrally do more blog posts on the topic in the future.

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