Those who currently operate a short-term rental in the City of Vancouver have until August 31 to obtain a business licence and post it in their online listings, before they will be subject to enforcement by the City.
The City said the new enforcement comes after a new bylaw which was enacted earlier this year, which is meant to address the estimated 6,600 illegal short-term rentals in Vancouver.
Leading up to this deadline, the City said it will focus on awareness and education about the new bylaws for the general public, while continuing enforcement against commercial operators, as well unsafe and illegal dwelling units.
Starting on September 1, the City will expand enforcement to include all unlicensed or invalid residential operators.
Owners and tenants who wish to operate their principal residence as a short-term rental can apply online for a business licence and all applicants will be required to pay a prorated annual licence fee and a one-time administration fee of $56.
For 2018, the annual licence fee is $49, which will be prorated to the resident’s application date.
$1,000-a-day fines for non-compliance
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.
This fine will also apply to commercial operations, which the city said don’t qualify for the short-term business license.
In addition, operators who don’t follow the short-term rental bylaws will be required to remove their listing until they have applied for and received their business licence.
Operators who make false declarations in the business licence application or refuse an audit or inspection will have their licence suspended as well, and won’t be allowed to operate a short-term rental for 12 months.
“With these new short-term rental bylaws, we will be proactive in our enforcement operators who are not in compliance will be fined repeatedly until they abide with the regulations,” said Kaye Krishna, General Manager of Development, Buildings and Licensing.
Krishna said the City’s “dedicated enforcement staff” will use a variety of tools and technologies to monitor and enforce compliance with the new bylaws.
More information about the program can be found online.