City of Vancouver staff earlier this month proposed to City Council short-term rental rules that are markedly similar to rules proposed in Toronto.
If adopted, the proposed rules are projected to legitimize 70 to 80 per cent of the short-term rental activity that is now occurring illegally in Vancouver, according to a City of Vancouver news release. The activity would be permitted to occur in the principal residences of owners and tenants for stays of up to 29 days.
As currently proposed, Toronto’s contemplated rules are projected to legitimize a similar proportion of the short-term rental activity occurring in its jurisdiction, likewise limiting the activity to principal residences, with the difference of a day: stays could stretch up to 28 days. Also similarly to Toronto’s proposed rules, which would require short-term rental hosts to register with the city and platforms to be licensed, Vancouver is looking at requiring short-term rental providers to obtain a business license for a “low fee.”
The move by Vancouver to legitimize certain types of short-term rentals under new regulations comes as listings have surged amid rising housing affordability pressures and rock-bottom rental vacancy rates.
“We received a lot of feedback that reflected both the positive impacts and the serious challenges associated with short-term rentals,” said Kaye Krishna, general manager of Development, Buildings and Licensing at the City of Vancouver. “A lot of residents are concerned about noise, safety and security, while others — homeowners and renters alike — told us they rely on the extra income to support their families and offset their cost of living.”
A public hearing on the proposed rules will occur this fall, with the roll out of regulations slated for next spring. Short-term rentals remain illegal in Vancouver in the meantime, unless they are occurring in properly zoned and licensed hotels and bed-and-breakfasts.