Short-term rental legislation is coming to Vancouver
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Short-term rental program launching next week

Vancouver‘s short-term rental program is planned to launch next week, after Council enacts new bylaws. Starting on Thursday, April 19, owners and renters will be able to apply for a new business licence for their principal residence through an easy online process. 

Legalizing short-term rentals 

Until now, all short-term rentals have been illegal in Vancouver. In November 2017, Vancouver City Council approved a plan to legalize short-term rentals for people who live in Vancouver. The City‘s new short-term rental program will permit residents to earn supplemental income and will also support tourism and local business while protecting the supply of long-term rentals and ensuring health, safety, and neighbourhood fit.

Will you qualify to be an operator?

What is a short-term rental operator? An operator rents their residence for less than 30 days at a time, usually by advertising it on a platform such as Airbnb. 

Will you qualify? You can be a short-term rental operator if you are an owner or a long-term renter. Short-term rentals will be allowed in your principal residence only, where you receive mail and live more than 180 days a year. 

If you are a renter, you must get permission from your landlord before renting short-term. If you live in a strata, your strata bylaws must support short-term rentals in your building. 

What doesn't qualify? To ensure long-term rental housing does not end up as a short-term rental, commercial operations are not permitted to operate short-term rentals. Investment properties and unlawful dwelling units are also not allowed.

Take the quiz to see if you qualify

What about secondary suites?

Short-term rentals of a secondary suite or laneway house are allowed, but only if the property is the owner’s principal residence or if it is rented long-term.

In other words, homeowners cannot short-term rent their secondary suite unless they live in it. If a long-term tenant wishes to operate a short-term rental, they need the approval of the owner before applying for a licence.

Getting licensed

There are a few steps you need to take to get a licence. These steps have been put in place to ensure that short-term rental accommodations are safe for visitors and minimize negative impact to the neighbourhood. 

You can start getting ready to register for your business licence by following the requirement checklist and, if necessary, make changes to your short-term rental space now.

A licence makes it legal

Remember: A short-term rental will only be legal once you have a business licence and include your licence number in your online listing. You cannot advertise or book a short-term rental in your principal residence until you have a business licence.

Short-term rental operators have until August 31, 2018 to obtain a valid business licence. If you advertise or rent a short-term rental without a business licence after August 31, you will be subject to $1,000 fines, prosecution, or other enforcement actions.

Commercial and unsafe operators will continue to be subject to enforcement, as there is no licence registration period that applies to these non-compliant operations. 

Stay informed

As a subscriber to the short-term rental mailing list, watch your inbox to find out when you will be able to apply for a short-term rental business licence.