The City of Vancouver recently enacted its new requirements for short-term rentals, including Airbnb properties.
If you list your property on Airbnb, you’ve likely asked yourself whether you should comply with the City’s new regulations, or if it’s worth continuing to rent it out.
There are a few key considerations before making any decision. We go into more detail below, but in short:
- A business licence is now required
- Only primary residences can be rented out on Airbnb
- Short-term rental properties that are secondary suites must be legalized
As you can imagine, there are major implications for property owners and renters in these regulations.
The new short-term rental requirements and the impact on your Airbnb in Vancouver
Business licences are required for new Airbnb listings
The most significant change is that short-term rentals will be required to have business licences.
In order to ensure that this policy is followed, the City has teamed up with Airbnb. Moving forward, if you want to register an Airbnb in Vancouver, you will be required to show a business licence.
Already have an Airbnb in Vancouver?
Existing hosts have until August 31st to provide Airbnb obtain a business licence and provide it to the site. If you do not do this, your listing will be deactivated after the deadline.
Primary residences only
Another major change in short-term rental requirements is that you will only be allowed to rent a short-term unit out of your primary residence. This means that condos that were bought just to be turned into short-term rental units can no longer be used for that purpose under the new requirements.
While this can be frustrating, the City has said the purpose of this change is to ensure that as many units are on the long-term rental market (and owner-occupied) as possible, helping with the Vancouver housing crisis.
Vancouver’s new Airbnb requirements have implications for illegal secondary suites
Renting out a non-permitted secondary suite? Vancouver’s new Airbnb requirements could spell disaster.
In order to get the business licence you need for Airbnb, you risk alerting the City to your illegal secondary suite and facing the consequences.
If, on the other hand, you do not get a business licence, you could lose your listing on Airbnb and risk daily fines if the City discovers you engaging in short-term rentals.
Due to these issues, we have heard from a number of homeowners who are now looking at legalizing their non-permitted secondary suites.
No going back
This can be a long process and there is really no going back once the wheels are in motion. Once the City is aware of your illegal suite, you will be required to follow the steps to legalize it – which is usually a costly endeavour – or remove the Kitchen and any other unpermitted alterations.
Therefore, make sure you follow this checklist before beginning the permitting process. If you choose to move forward with permitting, we offer secondary suite permit packages, which include a free fire plan for your short term rental.