130 Airbnb listings removed in Vancouver

Nov 15 2016, 8:05 am

Airbnb has removed 130 short-term rental listings in Vancouver over the last month, after concluding they were being run by “commercial operators.”

In a statement to Daily Hive, Airbnb’s Alex Dagg said the listings did not “meet the standards and priorities of our community, nor the guest experience we seek to provide.”

The City of Vancouver estimates that up to 5,000 Airbnb listings are active in the city, even though short-term rentals are technically illegal here.

And according to research out of UBC, 77% of Airbnb’s corporate revenue in Vancouver comes from units that are rented so frequently, it is unlikely the hosts even live there.

Currently, zoning regulations do not allow short-term rentals like Airbnb or Vrbo. Renting property for fewer than 30 days is only allowed in a licensed bed and breakfast.

However, these City rules are rarely enforced and some strata are now resorting to banning short-term rentals in their own bylaws to address the issue.

Airbnb’s decision to take down 130 listings in Vancouver comes as the City draws up new bylaws to regulate short-term rentals and empty homes, amid a rental housing crisis.

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Under proposed new rules, anyone wishing to rent any or all of their home on a nightly basis would need to prove the home is their principal residence and get a business licence.

Airbnb hosts would then have to post their licence number in all online listings and anyone operating short-term rentals without a licence could face fines and legal action.

Dagg said Airbnb has been sharing data and information with Mayor Gregor Robertson, City staff and the City Council and she looks forward to continuing to collaborate.

“We believe we can partner with the city to develop fair, easy-to-follow home-sharing regulations that address key priorities for the city, including any unwelcome commercial operators.”

Jenni SheppardJenni Sheppard

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