AirBnB and Other Short-Term Rentals to Require Business Licence

Vancouver condos and apartments

Home owners renting out their units through AirBnB, VRBO or other short-term rental platforms will be required to get a business licence first – and will only be granted one if the property is their primary residence, according to a proposed City of Vancouver policy announced September 28.

The move is intended to encourage the kind of AirBnB use that is considered vital to the “sharing economy” – such as renting out your home while you’re on vacation, or staying elsewhere – without allowing short-term stays to dominate the rental market and price out local long-term renters.

Investment properties and secondary residences in the city, which are subject to the new empty homes tax that aims to encourage those properties to be put into the long-term rental market, will not be granted a short-term rental licence.

Mayor Gregor Robertson said that the proposed short-term rental licence could force up to 1,000 Vancouver homes back into the long-term rental pool.