BIG news this week for Victoria’s booming Airbnb industry as city council decided to restrict short term vacations rentals across the city.
According to Times Colonist, the City of Victoria had two main factors that influenced this decision:
- The housing crisis in Victoria (resulting from extremely low vacancy rates)
- The unfair competitive advantage of Airbnb rentals over the conventional hotel industry
Basement suites and detached suits provide essential housing for families and individuals in the city, and these regulations will ensure that any short-term rentals in the city will be required to have a business license and comply with all city bylaws.
This doesn’t mean that existing Airbnb rentals will have to shut down. Homeowners will still be able to rent out up to two rooms in their homes on sites like Airbnb, provided that the rooms are in their primary residence, and not a secondary suite.
This isn’t the first change the city has made to Airbnb. In September the council made changes to the zoning laws, enforcing a minimum rental period of 30 days to suites in the downtown core.
If you’ve been renting a suite on Airbnb, you can continue to do so, but here’s what you’ll need to do first:
- Purchase a business license
- Provide a letter from the strata or property owner giving permission to operate a short-term rental
- Follow all city bylaws and regulations
- Include the business license number in all short-term rental advertisements