Vancouver, Airbnb sign MOU to support new rental regulations

Vancouver has signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbnb that ensures compliance with the city’s new regulations on short-term rentals.

This comes after the City Council approved on November last year legislation that legalized short-term rentals of less than 30 days in principal residences there. The news laws take effect today (April 19). Residents who wish to rent their principal residence are now required to apply for a business licence.

Before these rules took effect, short-term rentals were deemed illegal in the city unless they were licensed as either hotels or bed and breakfasts.

All Airbnb “hosts” are now required to update their short-term listings on the website to display a business license. After August 31, existing hosts who do not acquire and list their licenses will be deactivated – with the option to have their accounts reactivated once they secure a permit.

There are about 6,600 short-term listing in the city as of April 2018, according to figures from the Vancouver government. Airbnb accounts for 88% of that market.

The agreement is the first of its kind in Canada, according to Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The City’s new short-term rental regulations strike a fair balance for Vancouver residents who rely on income from short-term rentals to help make ends meet, while also recognizing that our first priority has to be making sure that Vancouverites have a secure and affordable place to call home,” he said in a statement.

Airbnb will also work with the city’s enforcement team to ensure the regulations are followed. It will provide list of all Vancouver licences and associated addresses that short-term rent via their platform to the City on a quarterly basis. Authorities will then cross-reference it with their licensing records to identify any illegal operators.


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