Airbnb laws in Vancouver give instant results

Published: October 22, 2018

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Earlier this year, the City of Vancouver introduced new laws that mandated short-term rentals such as Airbnb to carry a business license. Since then, the city’s government says the number of rentals listed online has dropped by nearly half.

Sites like Airbnb are currently displaying 3,742 active listings. The city announced Wednesday the number was around 6,600 in April, before the law came into effect. One obvious takeaway from the data is around half of rentals did not have a license and will either not get one or are currently in the process.

Kaye Krishna, the city’s general manager of development, buildings and licensing, said the results are “very promising”.

“As we move forward with continued public education and increased enforcement we expect to see the short-term rental market stabilize,” Krishna said in a statement.

Quick Success

Vancouver’s laws started on Sept. 1 and demand operators of rental properties to hold a license. It is interesting that nearly half of the previous properties have not yet sought a license, considering it costs just $49 per year.

One explanation for a slight decrease is the end of the summer season and some rentals only being available through the summer months. However, that certainly does not account for full reduction in listings.

Indeed, the city says it has issued 2,640 short-term rental licenses, making it among the most compliant cities in the world.

“The short-term rental program will continue to strengthen as the city expands its data sources and ongoing dialogue with multiple partners,” the city said in a statement.