Airbnb says Vancouver's short-term rental licensing plan too strict
Online company wants city to reconsider proposed regulations
Airbnb is asking the city of Vancouver to reconsider some parts of its new short-term rental licensing plan.
The city's proposed scheme bans short-term rentals in secondary suites like basement suites or laneway houses. Instead, applicants would only be eligible to rent out homes that are principal residences, and they would require a business license.
At a council presentation on Wednesday, Airbnb — the online-based company that facilitates short-term rentals — urged council to be more flexible.
"We believe regulations for home-sharing need to allow for appropriate flexibility," said Alexandra Dagg, a public policy manager with Airbnb Canada.
Families are diverse and change over time, as do their needs for extra space in their homes."
Council has argued the limitations are in place to add much-needed rental stock to the city, and a staff report said the move could add up to 1,500 rental properties to Vancouver's housing market.
"If a homeowner isn't going to put them on the market anyways [or] if they're going to be empty because they use it for their family or other things ... then that's not helping anybody."
Despite that, she said Airbnb is open to including business license numbers on its postings — a requirement the city is making for all advertised short-term rentals.
With files from Farrah Merali