B.C. cities want mandated business licences for short-term rentals

Enforcing local bylaws is ‘expensive and onerous’

Cities are asking the B.C. government to negotiate a province-wide requirement for all short-term rentals to display a valid business licence.

Nelson Coun. Anna Purcell brought the resolution to the floor of Wednesday’s Union of B.C. Municipalities convention.

“Many of our communities have been impacted by short term rentals. Our rental housing stock has been impacted and neighbourhood livelihood has been impacted,” said Purcell.

“We created a short-term rental bylaw but enforcement of it is expensive and onerous.”

READ MORE: Airbnb should not accept dwellings without business licenses, Nelson says

Thursday’s resolution was inspired by Vancouver’s business licence requirement for short-term rentals that has cut the number of listings in half.

Tofino Mayor Josie spoke out about her community’s struggles in enforcing their short-term rental rules.

“It would be a lot simpler for other local governments that are moving forward in regulation short-term rentals to know that all of the online accommodation platforms need to provide the option to have the business licence listed clearly,” said Osborne.

“It’s a very valuable enforcement tool.”

At a workshop Thursday afternoon, Osborne spoke about Tofino’s success in regulating short-term rentals

Tofino requires all short-term rentals to have a business licence. It’s handed out about 230 of them.

The licence costs up to $750 a year, with the money funding a full-time inspector to ensure compliance.

“It takes proactive enforcement all of the time,” Osborne said.

About one-third of the 82 per cent of Tofino’s residential properties that allow short-term rentals currently have them.

In total, about 77 per cent of Tofino’s properties are residential

Earlier this year, the province said that Airbnb would now collect eight per cent PST and up-to-3 per cent in municipal and regional district taxes.

In July, the province had announced new authority for strata councils to stop owners from using AirBnB and other services to rent out their suites in violation of building bylaws.

Effective Nov. 30, strata councils can assess fines of up to $1,000 a day on owners, up from the current $200 a day.

The business licence requirement will not apply to regional districts and rural electoral areas that do not have business licence.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Port Alice resident a descendant of two Aboriginal war heroes

Charlie and Henry Byce are Canada’s most decorated father and son in history.

Port Hardy council hesitant to formalize question period in agendas, refers it to committee

In first act as new council, representatives were uncertain about formalizing question periods.

Gas prices on Vancouver Island to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

Mt. Waddington’s Salvation Army releases eye-opening statistics report for 2017

Shelter overnight stays saw a 431 per cent increase since 2014.

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

Six String Nation’s Voyageur guitar comes to Port Hardy Secondary School

The presentation at the school is one of many showings Jowi Taylor is putting on in Port Hardy.

Harvest Food Bank prepares for busy winter season

Port Hardy’s Harvest Food Bank has prepared itself as the winter season… Continue reading

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

Port Alberni convenience store robbed

Police still searching for suspect

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Most Read