Illegal Banff home rentals target of town crackdown
Many residents breaking Parks Canada rules by renting out properties, town officials say
The Town of Banff is cracking down on homeowners who illegally rent out their homes to tourists.
Parks Canada’s eligible residency regulations for the townsite prohibit homeowners from using their residences as second homes and leasing them to recreational users.
The aim is to ensure there is enough housing for people who live and work in the town.
But an increasing number of homeowners are illegally renting out their homes by the day or week on websites like Airbnb and Vacation Rentals by Owner, said Coun. Brian Standish.
“It's becoming more and more popular, unfortunately. In the past we've replied to these complaints on a complaint-by-complaint basis only. But we are receiving more of these complaints and we're also seeing a diversification of these complaints,” he said.
"It's just making our housing situation worse. Housing is our number one priority, as you know, here in Banff."
Standish says there is zero vacancy in the mountain town west of Calgary, and he thinks it is wrong that residents are taking away eligible rooms for other locals just to make a profit.
Town officials plan to scour websites looking for people who are illegally offering their homes for rent.