Short-term rental business licence

Do you operate a short-term rental?

 Effective September 1, 2018, all short-term rental operators in Vancouver must have a business licence and include their licence number in all online listings and advertising, or they may be subject to fines up to $1,000 per offence.

Our short-term rental regulations help protect long-term rental housing and allow residents to earn additional income.

A short-term rental can be an entire home, or a room within that home, that is rented for less than 30 consecutive days at a time.

A short-term rental can only be operated from your principal residence – the home where you live, as an owner or tenant, and use for bills, identification, taxes, and insurance.

Short-term rentals are only permitted in secondary homes or basements suites if the operator lives there full time.

All short-term rental operators must have a valid business licence and include it in all online listings and advertisements.

Your strata bylaws or landlord must permit the use of short-term rentals in your home before you apply for a licence.

Non-compliance may result in fines of up to $1,000 per offence.


Apply for a short-term rental business licence

A short-term rental business licence can only be issued to a person, for the property where they reside.

 Businesses, societies, and commercial operations are ineligible to operate a short-term rental and should not apply for a short-term rental business licence. 

Step 1: 
Check you're eligible to apply

Try the quiz

Step 2:
Meet the licence requirements

Get the checklist

Step 3:
Apply online
 

Apply now

Be a responsible operator

Download our handbook PDF file (300 KB)

What about the Empty Homes Tax?

Short-term rentals aren't allowed in homes that pay the tax.

The tax applies to homes that aren't the owner’s principal residence, or that aren't rented long-term. 

More on Empty Homes Tax


Renew your existing short-term rental business licence for 2019

Ensure you renew your licence for 2019 and update all your online listings with your new licence number.

This year's licence fee is $51. A fee of $40 will be added to late renewals (this applies to all business licences).

To renew, you will need your account number listed on your renewal notice. If you're not sure of the number, call 3-1-1.

Renew your licence

 Any short-term rentals listing that does not have an 2019 licence number is subject to fines and enforcement for operating in contravention of City bylaws.


Why short-term rentals are allowed in Vancouver

Vancouver is facing a housing affordability crisis. We want residents to stay, live, and build a future in Vancouver. As part of the Housing Vancouver Strategy, our short-term rental regulations:

  • Protect existing long-term rental housing and return more long-term rental housing to the market
  • Allow residents to use their principal residence to earn additional income to offset their housing costs
  • Provide safe and healthy accommodation options to support our tourism industry
  • Helps us respond to any concerns with noise, garbage, parking, and safety
  • Permit us to enforce against commercial and illegal operators who are using long-term rental homes as short-term rentals

Enforcing the rules

We are actively working to ensure all short-term rental operators across Vancouver are in compliance with our new regulations. Operators may be fined up to $1,000 per offence or be subject to legal action for:

  • Operating without a valid business licence
  • Listing or advertising a short-term rental without displaying a valid business licence
  • Operating a short-term rental in a home that is not their principal residence
  • Operating a commercial short-term rental
  • Operating in an unsafe or nuisance property

Commercial operators and those with repeat offences may be subject to prosecution and face fines of up to $10,000.

Report an issue

Is the short-term rental:

  • Operating without a licence?
  • Not used as a principal residence?
  • Not allowed by a landlord or strata?
  • Unsafe?
  • Making a nuisance?

Tell us now

The fine to list a short-term rental without a valid licence is $1,000 per offence.


Statistics

Last updated January 10, 2019.

active listings in Vancouver
business licences issued for 2019*

*3,247 business licences were issued in 2018

City staff have opened 1,691 case files (873 are closed) and pursued the following enforcement actions against suspected unauthorized short-term rental units:

licences flagged for investigations and audits
warning letters written
legal orders issued**
violation tickets issued
units identified for inspection
listings referred to prosecution
business licences suspended

**132 orders were issued as of December 9, 2018. 12 of those orders have been cancelled for reasons such as compliance by the operator or change in enforcement approach.

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