Over 1,000 Vancouver Airbnb hosts defy new BC short-term rental rules

By Chen Zhou and Rohana Rezel

Over a thousand Vancouver Airbnb hosts are defying the new short-term rental rules aimed at “reining in the growing short-term rental market that is taking homes off the market” in British Columbia that came into effect on May 1, 2024.

Our most recent scan of Airbnb data for Vancouver shows that there are 4,967 units listed on the site as of May 15, 2024. This is a decrease of 225 listings, or 4 per cent, compared to  Apr 22, 2024.

Of those, 3,050 would be considered short-term rentals under City of Vancouver bylaws. This is a reduction of 142 listings, 4 per cent compared to Apr 22, 2024.

We found that 906 units were listed with expired licences, while 58 listings contained fake licences and 113 listings were marked as “exempt” when they should have had a valid licence.

The rules that came into effect on May 1, 2024, requires short-term rental hosts to “display a valid business licence number on their listing in areas where a business licence is required by the local government”.

In total, we found that 1,074 unique listings out of the 3050 in Vancouver, or 35 percent of all listings in the city, were not displaying a valid business licence, even though a business licence is required by the City of Vancouver. This is a 4.5 percentage point decrease compared to compared to Apr 22, 2024.

“If a listing does not comply with a business licence requirement where required by the local government, the short-term rental platform must remove the listing at the request of the local government,” according to the BC government’s information page on the new rules. 

The City of Vancouver is able to request Airbnb to remove 1,074 listings that are not displaying a valid request. Airbnb could be fined $10,000 per listing for failing to comply under the provincial rules.

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