Vancouver council has unanimously passed a motion to create an online, searchable database of most rental properties in the city.

The database will allow Vancouver residents to search out landlords and identify any building or safety violations issued by the City of Vancouver to specific rental buildings.

City councillor Tim Stevenson introduced the idea last year, based on a similar scheme in New York, using existing, publicly available information already collected by the city.

However, the Coalition of Progressive Electors has already criticised the new database for not going far enough and claims it will exclude certain properties.

About 52 per cent of Vancouver residents are renters and there are 4,900 purpose-built rental buildings in the city.

The database will not include information on private rentals, such as condominiums or suites in private homes.