Mired in a housing crisis, Vancouver city council announced today that Airbnb would be banned for all secondary residences. Whether you own an investment condo, house, or basement suite, or even a coach house, that will now be banned from renting on Airbnb.

The new regulations are as follows:

Vancouver hosts will be required to obtain a business licence that costs $49 annually, plus a one-time application fee of $54, and display their licence number in their online listing. Those who fail to comply with the regulations will face a $1,000 fine per violation.

Vancouver has also imposed a 3% transaction fee on all bookings. This would be remitted voluntarily by the short-term rental platforms.

New Rules Begin April 2018 and are as follows:

Allowed:

  1. It’s your principal residence, in other words, where you live most of the year and the residential address you use for bills, identification, taxes, and insurance
  2. It’s a legal dwelling unit
  3. You have a short-term rental business licence
  4. If you’re renting, your landlord allows you to sublet your home as a short-term rental
  5. If you’re in a strata, your strata allows short-term rentals

Not Allowed:

  1. It’s not your principal residence, in other words, you don’t live there most of the year
  2. If you’re a renter, your landlord doesn’t allow you to sublet your home as a short-term rental
  3. If you live in a strata, your strata doesn’t allow short-term rentals
  4. It’s an illegal dwelling unit

While many strata condos have a tough time policing Airbnb or simply don’t care it will be interesting to see how the city enforces the new regulations. It is said that all Airbnb listings will be required to show their business license. Will Airbnb cooperate and pull listings that don’t have one?

If so, this will surely impact speculative condo investors who have purchased with the intent of renting year round on Airbnb. It could also hit the bottom line of homeowners dependant on rental income in their basement suite or coach house.

However, with a rental vacancy of 0.5% difficult and controversial decisions need to be made.

It’s estimated there are 6000 illegal short term rentals in the city of Vancouver.