B.C. cities want mandated business licences for short-term rentals

Enforcing local bylaws is ‘expensive and onerous’

Cities are asking the B.C. government to negotiate a province-wide requirement for all short-term rentals to display a valid business licence.

Nelson Coun. Anna Purcell brought the resolution to the floor of Wednesday’s Union of B.C. Municipalities convention.

“Many of our communities have been impacted by short term rentals. Our rental housing stock has been impacted and neighbourhood livelihood has been impacted,” said Purcell.

“We created a short-term rental bylaw but enforcement of it is expensive and onerous.”

READ MORE: Airbnb should not accept dwellings without business licenses, Nelson says

Thursday’s resolution was inspired by Vancouver’s business licence requirement for short-term rentals that has cut the number of listings in half.

Tofino Mayor Josie spoke out about her community’s struggles in enforcing their short-term rental rules.

“It would be a lot simpler for other local governments that are moving forward in regulation short-term rentals to know that all of the online accommodation platforms need to provide the option to have the business licence listed clearly,” said Osborne.

“It’s a very valuable enforcement tool.”

At a workshop Thursday afternoon, Osborne spoke about Tofino’s success in regulating short-term rentals

Tofino requires all short-term rentals to have a business licence. It’s handed out about 230 of them.

The licence costs up to $750 a year, with the money funding a full-time inspector to ensure compliance.

“It takes proactive enforcement all of the time,” Osborne said.

About one-third of the 82 per cent of Tofino’s residential properties that allow short-term rentals currently have them.

In total, about 77 per cent of Tofino’s properties are residential

Earlier this year, the province said that Airbnb would now collect eight per cent PST and up-to-3 per cent in municipal and regional district taxes.

In July, the province had announced new authority for strata councils to stop owners from using AirBnB and other services to rent out their suites in violation of building bylaws.

Effective Nov. 30, strata councils can assess fines of up to $1,000 a day on owners, up from the current $200 a day.

The business licence requirement will not apply to regional districts and rural electoral areas that do not have business licence.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Feds kickstart Indigenous Guardians program with $5.7M in early funding

Part of $25M announcement from March to commit financial help for First Nations to remain stewards of their land

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh visits with Langford high school students

Students asked him questions about current political issues

New report finds B.C. victims of opioids crisis on lower of end of socio-economic spectrum

UVic scholar calls for decriminalization of drugs responsible for opioid crisis

Victoria Curling Club, arena parking lot considered for new Crystal Pool location

Considering other vendors could cost Victoria first year of provincial and federal funding

City of Victoria to see 588 affordable housing units

Provincial funding is aiming to see 4,900 new mixed-income rental properties across B.C.

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Student arrested at Vancouver Island elementary school

Pupils never in danger, incident unrelated to the school

POLL: Have BC Ferry waits ever forced you to cancel your travel plans?

Many BC Ferry passengers heading out from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen on… Continue reading

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

Racist slur cleaned off memorial at Qualicum First Nation graveyard

Site was hit by vandals on Friday; many immediately offered support and assistance

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Most Read