In November of 2017, the Vancouver City Council announced that Airbnb would be banned from all secondary residents. This includes investment condos, houses, basement suites, and coach houses. The official regulations come amidst a budding housing crisis within and around the city.
The new regulations require Vancouver hosts to obtain a business license, which costs $49 annually, and to pay a one-time application fee of $54. Hosts must display their number in their online listings, and those who fail to comply with the regulations will face a $1,000 fine per violation. The city has also imposed a 3% transaction fee on all bookings, which would be remitted voluntarily by the short-term rental platforms. The new rules began in April of 2018.
To that end, there are several scenarios in which Airbnb Vancouver rentals are still allowed. You may rent out the property if it is your principal residence—where you live most of the year and the address you use for bills, identification, taxes, and insurance. The property must be your legal dwelling unit. If you are currently renting, your landlord must allow you to sublet the home as a short-term rental. Finally, you must obtain and maintain a short-term rental business license.
However, the new rules ban Airbnb use in a variety of situations. If the property is not your principal residence, you may not rent it out. Similarly, if you are a renter and your landlord does not allow you to sublet, you are prohibited from using the short-term rental system. Those living in illegal dwelling units are also unable to use Airbnb.
If Airbnb cooperates in pulling listings that don’t have a business license, it will inevitably impact condo investors who purchased with the intent of renting year-round. The new rules may also impact homeowners who are dependent on the rental income of their basements or coach houses.