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City continues with enforcement of illegal short-term rentals

October 25 2016

Vancouver City Hall

Complaints and reports to the City of Vancouver about short-term rentals impacting residents with noise, safety, and nuisance concerns have been on the rise – 55 have been received so far in 2016.

Consequently, we have stepped up enforcement activity in recent months, starting with hosts or listings with significant public impacts.

Prioritizing our enforcement

Enforcement actions have been prioritized against specific short-term rental properties with multiple impacts on the public good based on four criteria:

  1. Short-term rentals in unsafe buildings
  2. Short-term rentals in publicly-funded rental housing
  3. Buildings with multiple listings (for example, hosted hotels) or where a long-term tenant has been evicted so a unit can be rented short-term instead
  4. Operators running multiple listings (for example, short-term rental property management companies)

Some of the properties are now bylaw-compliant and the rest are working towards compliance. We will continue to monitor the locations to ensure the owners or operators remain in compliance with all City bylaws.

The main purpose of prioritizing enforcement measures is to:

  • Ensure personal safety (no residential use of unsafe buildings)
  • Prevent conversion of long-term rental units to visitor accommodation, in alignment with our goals and objectives to return short-term rental stock back into the long-term rental market.

Next steps

We are also using lessons learned from these enforcement cases to design a comprehensive, cost-effective compliance system that would accompany our report back to City Council on implementation of new regulations to legalize short-term rental activity in Vancouver.

Council have asked staff to report back in early 2017 on a potential implementation framework for short-term rentals that would:

  • Legalize approximately 50% of current short-term rental listings through a new business licence category
  • Ban over 1,000 homes listed that could be available for long-term tenancy

Short-term rentals in Vancouver

In June 2016 there were more than 5,300 unique, active short-term rental listings in Vancouver.  Only a fraction of local listings require a minimum stay of 30 days or are licenced hotels or bed and breakfasts. Therefore, almost all short-term rental activity in Vancouver is currently illegal.

Until new regulations are adopted, enforcement of current regulations will continue largely based on complaints.

Learn more, get updates, and report concerns