A fresh consensus has been established between Vancouver authorities and Airbnb, which will curb the short-term rental frenzy and bring it under control. How? Well, individuals looking to host on the platform will need to obtain a $49 business licence, and existing hosts will have until August 31st to prove that they have one.
If anyone is found to be operating a short-term rental without a business licence, they’ll face a fine of around $1,000 per day. Vancouver chiefs are hoping that these rules will present more opportunities to locals looking for long-term housing. Speaking on the development, Mayor Gregor Robertson stated –
“Housing here is for homes first and to be used as a business after that and taxed appropriately when it’s used as a business.”
Officials are intending to target other short-term rental platforms too – like VRBO and Home Away – but, Airbnb was their priority. Out of about 6,600 short-term rentals in operation in Vancouver, nearly ninety-percent of them are on Airbnb.
Hosts will be able to register for a business licence starting on April 19th, but not everyone will qualify. To be granted a business licence, the property must be your primary residence, which means you have to live there for the 6 months out of the year. If it’s a secondary property that you’ve set up solely for short-term renting, you’ll be denied.
As part of the agreement, Airbnb have committed to providing Vancouver with a database of all their listings – along with the address and licence status – on a quarterly basis. That way, if any address doesn’t possess a licence, officials will be able to act quickly against the illegal operators.
Alex Dagg, who is the public policy director at Airbnb, had the following to say –
“Airbnb is proud to have partnered with the city of Vancouver on this landmark agreement [first of its kind]. This new system will make home sharing easier for Vancouverites and give the city the tools it needs to enforce their regulations.”