Vancouver claims 'steady progress' in crackdown on illegal short-term rentals

Dec 11 2018, 8:34 am

Three months after new regulations around short-term rentals took effect, the city has seen “steady progress” in the crackdown on illegally operating properties.

In a release, the city said that as of December 9, staff have opened more than 1,600 case files and pursued the following enforcement actions against suspected unauthorized short-term rental units, including:

  • 363 investigations and audits;
  • 304 warning letters;
  • 132 legal orders issued;
  • 126 tickets issued;
  • 59 units identified for inspection;
  • three licenses suspended;
  • 837 files have been closed.

Additionally, 12 case files were referred to the prosecutor’s office earlier this year against commercial operators with 89 listings:

  • Five cases, which represent 17 listings, are proceeding to court;
  • One case, which represent 35 listings, is with the prosecutor’s office for further review;
  • Six cases are undergoing additional investigation

“As more than half of Vancouver’s population rents their home, an increased supply of rental housing is paramount for our residents,” said Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart.

“We are committed to ensuring residents have access to the homes they need and can afford, and are pleased these short-term rental regulations are having a positive effect on the City’s long-term rental housing supply.”

With these latest results, the city said it continues to “investigate and enforce” against unauthorized short-term rental activity and are aware of operators with multiple listings who continue to operate.

“We have created new systems that allow us to investigate and enforce against people who choose to operate a short-term rental outside of the City’s regulations,” said Kaye Krishna, General Manager, Development, Buildings & Licensing. “While the enforcement process can be lengthy and complicated, we are seeing compliance by the majority of operators.

Krishna added that the city’s “sophisticated tracking and enforcement system is proving effective, and we are confident results will only continue to increase.”

The City’s short-term rental regulations were established this year in a move meant to protect long-term rentals for people living and working in Vancouver. The rules aim to balance long-term rental housing protection by prohibiting short-term rentals in investment properties.

See also

Residents can report suspected illegal short-term rentals by calling 3-1-1, completing the online form, or submitting a report through the VanConnect App.

Residents are reminded that when reporting suspected illegal short-term rentals, they must provide both the address with unit number, if applicable, and the listing URL for the City to create an enforcement file.

Those who wish to apply or a short-term rentals business licence can do so online as well.

All applicants will be required to pay a prorated annual licence fee and a one-time administration fee of $56.

Operators who do not include a valid business licence in the list short-term rental listings will be subject to enforcement. Failure to comply may result in fines of up to $1,000 per day and legal action.

Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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