Airbnb causing condo conflict in Vancouver

Residents of an East Vancouver condo building say they're angry that a fellow owner is an is renting out his suites on Airbnb, a popular accommodation site.

'This is our home,' resident says. 'This is not a hotel.'

Condo owner Ulrike Rodrigues says residents are angry that a fellow owner is renting his suites to Airbnb guests. (CBC)

Residents of an East Vancouver condo say they're angry an owner is renting out his suites on Airbnb, a popular accommodation site.

They say the owner, a realtor who owns multiple suites in the building, is breaking city and strata regulations.

One of the building's strata rules says suites can't be operated for commercial purposes.

The other owners say the presence of short-term guests has changed the community feeling of their once-quiet building as strangers arrive and leave at all hours.

"The suites are intended as residences and he's running them as hotel rooms," said condo owner Ulrike Rodrigues.

A city bylaw states that the minimum stay for a suite rental is 30 days. Rodrigues says some of the advertised Airbnb suites are for two weeks.

Up to six suites for rent on Airbnb

She said the owner, Zul Jiwa, is advertising up to six suites for rent, 10 per cent of the building's 60 apartments.

Rodrigues said she wants someone to halt the Airbnb rentals.

"You're not allowed to run a business or commercial enterprise out of a suite and he`s running hotel rooms," Rodrigues said.

Units in this East Vancouver condo building have been rented to Airbnb guests. (CBC)

She's also concerned he's taking affordable rental stock out of an already tight market. Suites in the building currently rent for up to $900 per month. As Airbnb rentals, they're bringing in about $4,000 per month

Rodrigues and other tenants say they've seen travellers come and go, and while there haven't been any serious incidents in the building, they're worried about wear and tear and they want to know who their neighbours are.

 In a telephone interview, Jiwa said most of the six suites he's renting are for at least one month or more, the city's minimum requirement. But at least one advertised rental was for just over two weeks.

Jiwa said that is permitted under city rules because Airbnb is essentially a bed and breakfast. But he said that doesn't mean it's a commercial business.

Meanwhile, strata chair Lewis Villegas, says he's not sure Airbnb rentals are permitted. He says he plans to hold an information meeting in the building to air concerns.

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