Fresh rules for Airbnb

Vancouver city council has voted to legalize short-term rentals such as Airbnb, but will limit them to principal residences.

Members of the ruling Vision Vancouver slate said the decision came down to preserving the city’s already limited long-term rental housing supply, rather than boosting the tourism business.

"These are really, really, really valuable places for people to live in," said Coun. Heather Deal during the debate.

The decision comes after a lengthy consultation process that involved a tug-of-war between residents who need the short-term rental income to pay their mortgages and the people who say they can't afford to compete for suites with deep-pocketed tourists.

Some 6,000 suites are on offer at services such as Airbnb, according to city estimates. Most are principal residences offered up on vacation. The city estimates the new rules will affect only the roughly 800 to 1,600 suites that are basement suites or commercial operations.

Under the new rules, a homeowner will have to get a $49 per year licence and display that licence on their listing.

Renters will need their landlord’s permission to list their residence.

– with files from CTV Vancouver

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