British Columbia

Airbnb management company targets long-term Vancouver rentals

A company that provides management services for short-term property rentals is targeting long-term rental providers, raising concern from city officials about Vancouver's rental housing stock.

City councillor Geoff Meggs says city's rental housing stock is already in short supply

The City of Vancouver says up to 5,000 short-term rentals in the city are offered by companies like Airbnb. (Airbnb.ca)

A company that provides management services for short-term property rentals is targeting long-term rental providers, raising concern from city officials about Vancouver's rental housing stock. 

bnbcare offers property management and cleaning services for more than 75 vacation and short-term rentals in Metro Vancouver.

The company says it searches for long-term rental property listings on Craigslist and contacts the owners, offering them more income by listing their property as a short-term rental instead. 

BnbCare spokesperson Igor Kostin said the company looks for homeowners who might be out of town for a few months and are looking to rent out their place while they're away. 

"That's where we jump in and make our offer," Kostin said. 

In an email obtained by CBC News, the company offered a property owner 20 per cent more income and said it can sign a one-year lease with fixed rent throughout the term. 

Taking out housing stock 'negative overall'

Coun. Geoff Meggs said that kind of activity is exactly what the city is hoping to crack down on. 

The city recently released data that shows up to 5,000 active short-term rentals in the city with 85 per cent of those on Airbnb. The data also shows two-thirds of the listings are for entire houses, condos or apartments.

Vancouver's rental vacancy rate is 0.6 per cent, and Meggs said the idea that management companies could be making that problem worse is troubling.

"I think that if we see people mobilizing their space and taking it out of the stock that's available to the City of Vancouver, that's negative overall," Meggs said. 

On Wednesday the city launched an online survey to gather feedback on short-term rentals

Meggs said he hopes there will be enforceable rules in place by December to deal with consumer protection and public safety issues, while protecting Vancouver's rental stock.

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