Airbnb crackdown? BC looking to regulate short-term rental market

Apr 11 2023, 10:45 pm

The Government of British Columbia is looking at ways to regulate the short-term rental market, which could impact companies like Airbnb.

Residents, particularly across Metro Vancouver, have been dealing with the highest rental costs in the country for the past several years, and the provincial government is looking to increase the number of homes available to rent in the province. This move is amongst the measures outlined in the provincial government’s Homes for People action plan announced last week.

Part of that push to increase the rental stock in the province is turning vacant units into homes for renters and removing unfair age restrictions that keep families out of strata housing.

The BC Ministry of Housing also told Daily Hive Urbanized it was looking into potentially discriminatory housing practices.

Daily Hive received a statement from BC Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon, who said BC Premier David Eby had given him a mandate to bring in new legislation to help better regulate short-term rentals in communities around BC.

“The premier has given me a mandate to introduce legislation establishing new tools for local governments to help them better regulate short-term rentals in their communities, and that is something that the Ministry of Housing is currently working on,” Kahlon stated.

“As part of the due diligence by staff, my ministry will be looking at the regulatory regime that we now have in place for ride-sharing to see if there are useful tools from that experience that can be leveraged.”

The ministry also provided some background that outlined how many units might be taken away from the long-term rental market due to units serving as short-term rentals, though the numbers come from pandemic times.

“According to independent academic research obtained by the Ministry of Housing, by the end of 2021, it is estimated that short-term rentals were taking almost 14,000 housing units off of BC’s long-term rental market.”

While Airbnb is a popular service for short-term rentals, short-term rentals are also offered via services like Vrbo, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace.

Daily Hive has reached out to Airbnb for comment.

Do you think BC needs to take action on short-term rental services like Airbnb to make more rental housing available?

Amir AliAmir Ali

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