Short-term rentals have recently emerged as a significant topic of discussion. The question at hand is whether they are genuinely responsible for driving up rent and housing prices. Here is a brief summary along with my observations.
- Federal government using tax system to create challenges for short-term rental operators, no further details yet. *
- Vancouver councillors will increase the licence cost for short-term rentals in the city from $109 to $1,000 next year.*
- Changing the definition of short-term to less than 30 days, rather than 90 days; allowing exemptions for medical visits at short-term rentals; and permitting hosts to operate a short-term rental outside their principal residence
- Short-term rentals allowed only in laneway houses or secondary suites with host as principal resident.
- Eligibility criteria for homeowners and tenants in these units.
- Regulations in place for years, requiring homeowner’s residence in the unit with an available secondary unit for rent.
While the recent emphasis on enforcing short-term rental regulations in Vancouver may suggest a novel initiative, it is important to recognize that these regulations have long been established. The recent surge in enforcement, particularly targeting illegal operations, brings attention to an underlying concern—the substantial structural shortage in housing supply. Rather than concentrating efforts solely on addressing short-term rentals, there is a pressing need to address the broader challenges within the housing market. This becomes especially crucial in light of the anticipated influx of 500,000 people due to immigration policies in the coming years. Thus, the essential question arises: Is the focus on short-term rentals reflective of the core issue, or would directing attention towards resolving the deeper problem of housing supply be a more effective strategy?
More short-term rental info is available at the Vancouver city website: https://vancouver.ca/doing-business/short-term-rentals.aspx