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

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.

UBCM

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

WILDLIFE TREE: Tofino Poet Laureate Christine Lowther stands next to a giant cedar tree on District Lot 114, the site of Tofino’s controversial affordable housing project. The tree was pinned with an official Ministry of Forests yellow wildlife tree sign to educate fallers that the tree needs to be left standing for food, shelter and nesting. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Tofino author Christine Lowther calling for poetry about trees

“I’m thrilled to be of service to trees through poetry.”

Tofino will elect a new mayor and two new councillors on March 6. (Westerly file photo)
Tofino’s mayoralty candidates lay out key differences

Tofino will elect a new mayor and two new councillors on March 6.

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Clockwise from top right, chamber executive director Jen Dart moderated a Zoom-based forum last week where Tofino’s mayoralty candidates J.J. Belanger, Andrea McQuade and Dan Law made their pitch to lead their community. (Screenshot)
WATCH: Tofino mayoralty candidates face off at forum

Town to elect new mayor and two new councillors on March 6.

A man died in a house fire at the Ahousaht First Nation reserve on Feb. 17, 2021. (BP File Image)
House fire claims life of one man in Ahousaht

Investigation underway as tight-knit community mourns, foul play not suspected

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Nanaimo-raised singer Allison Crowe with director Zack Snyder on the set of ‘Man of Steel’ in 2011. Crowe performs a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in the upcoming director’s cut of ‘Justice League.’ (Photo courtesy Clay Enos)
Island-raised musician records song for upcoming ‘Justice League’ film

Allison Crowe’s rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah closes out the movie

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing escalates to stabbing in Nanaimo

Victim, struck with coffee cup and then stabbed, suffers minor injuries; suspect arrested

A battery electric-hybrid ferry, pictured here, is expected to make its way to Vancouver Island in late 2021, says B.C. Ferries. (Submitted photo)
Hybrid ferry for Gabriola-Nanaimo route launches in shipyard in Europe

Two hybrid vessels to replace MV Quinsam by early 2022, says B.C. Ferries

The Pacheedaht First Nation is planning a $1-million expansion to its campground in Port Renfrew. (Pixabay photo)
Expanded camping announced for Pacheedaht Campground

$1-million project is part of the B.C. Rural Economic Recovery program

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

The Port of Nanaimo has signed a 50-year-agreement with DP World around short-sea shipping operations at Duke Point Terminal. (News Bulletin file photo)
Lease ‘important first step’ in $105-million Nanaimo port expansion project

Port of Nanaimo and DP World sign 50-year shipping operations agreement for Duke Point

A BC Ferries worker out of Swartz Bay has tested positive for COVID-19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Swartz Bay ferry worker confirmed to have COVID-19

Employees in direct contact with worker now isolating

Most Read