Vancouver has made a decision to limit short-term rentals in the city. This is a move that is supposed to reduce housing shortages that have been experienced in the city for years. At the same time, it’s seen as a move that targets Airbnb. The move was passed yesterday after it was approved by the City Council of Vancouver. The new regulations stipulate that business people in the area are prohibited from offering short-term rentals. Those that will violate these terms will be subjected to a fine. At the same time, individuals in the area can only rent their principal residences. This means that it will be illegal to rent coach houses, garages as well the suites that are located in the basement of their houses. This is a move that is expected to free up more housing in a city that has seen low vacancy rates and exceptionally high prices when it comes to housing.
However, there are some experts that say there is no hard evidence to suggest the move will free up some houses. Instead, they say that the move is geared towards ensuring that no more rental units are lost to these schemes. Airbnb, on the other hand, issued a statement saying that it will challenge the new rules in court. It has also been revealed that there were some members of the county council who voted against the new regulations. They argued that the new regulations will not help with the current situation in the area. One of the council members who has been identified as George Affleck said that the city had become very affordable in the last few years. He further said that the latest deal would create a bureaucracy that will not help with the situation.
With the new rules, people offering rental services in the city will have to be licensed. At the same time, they will have to pay an annual subscription fee of 49 Canadian dollars. Those that are caught operating without a license will be fined a fee of 1,000 Canadian dollars. To ensure that the law is followed, law enforcement officers will plow through the listings of Airbnb. This will be easy to find an unlicensed operator. Nonetheless, the officials acknowledged that the approach may be imperfect but it will help solve the issue a little. At the moment, Vancouver mayor Gregory Robertson said that there are over 6,000 illegal rentals in the city.