The City of Vancouver has started to take steps to address the
use of short-term rental services such as Airbnb, Homeaway and VRBO
(Vacation Rentals by Owner). Vancouver City Council recently
approved a motion to ask City staff to come up with ways
to regulate the use of these increasingly popular services.
In our previous post on the topic, we discussed the various
legal considerations regarding the use of short-term rental
Since then, the City has asked its staff to suggest new ways in
which the City could regulate services such as Airbnb. The motion
does not propose ways in which the City could regulate these
services. Some ideas City staff might explore come from other
cities south of the border that have already taken steps to
regulate this facet of the growing sharing economy.
For example, the City of Portland passed Ordinance No. 186736 on July 30, 2014
permitting short-term rentals in residential zones when the rental
is also the proprietor's primary residence. In order to operate
this type of short-term rental, the proprietor is required to
obtain a short term rental permit and pay a Transient Lodging Tax.
Similarly, just recently, the Austin City Council approved
significant changes to the city's Short-Term Rental ordinance.
The revised ordinance imposes requirements for advertising, sets
occupancy limits, places new requirements on those requesting
short-term rental licenses, and creates a process for denying,
suspending or revoking a license, along with an appeal process.
Other cities have taken a more aggressive stance against the use
of short-term rental services. New York City has hired additional
inspectors in order to crackdown on illegal short-term rentals.
Here in Canada, the Province of Quebec has also attempted to
regulate the industry, requiring parties who rent their property on
a short-term basis to acquire a certificate from the Ministry of
Tourism and pay a lodging tax.
The number of listings on Airbnb in Vancouver has increased
dramatically over the past few years. It is estimated that there are now nearly 4,800
listings for rentals in Vancouver compared to the estimated 2,900
in 2014. Whichever regulatory method Vancouver adopts, it will
likely need to balance the City's low rental vacancy rate with
the increasing popularity of short-term rental services.
The Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that courts will generally support and uphold decisions of condominium directors because they are better positioned than judges to make decisions pertaining to their buildings.
According to the city bylaws in Calgary, the grading of lots for new buildings must be done properly so that the water never flows toward the new building or any other nearby properties, but away from those buildings.
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