Vancouver takes 400 short-term rental units off the market in keeping with new regulations

City says some have been re-listed as long-term rentals, while 1,500 more units that appear to be illegal are being investigated.

Some have been re-listed as long-term rental housing, while 1,500 more units being investigated

The city says it has received 430 citizen complaints about suspected illegal short-term rentals since April 19. (Karen Burgess/CBC)

One month after introducing new short-term rental regulations, the City of Vancouver says it has de-listed 400 units, or converted them into long-term rental housing. 

In a release, the city also said it is "actively investigating" more than 1,500 units that appear to be illegal.

The owners of an additional 400 units have been issued warning letters and are facing fines, and over 100 listings with duplicate or incorrect business licences are under audit.

The city has also initiated prosecution against commercial operators representing 89 listings, with the potential to collect up to $890,000 in fines.

The city says it has received 430 citizen complaints about suspected illegal short-term rentals since April 19.

"Short term rentals are illegal in investment properties and commercial properties and we've spent the last month focusing our enforcement on those properties," said Kaye Krishna, the city's general manager of development, buildings, and licensing.

"We're really pleased with the progress we've made in the past month."

New rules

Under the new policy, short-term rentals of a secondary suite or laneway house will only be allowed if the property is the owner's principal residence or if it is rented long-term, and the tenant wishes to operate a short-term rental, with approval of the owner.

Homeowners caught listing secondary suites or commercial units on short-term rental websites will face fines of up to $1,000 per day for each infraction.

Homeowners and primary residents who wish to list properties on websites like Airbnb will be subject to an annual licensing fee of $49 and a one-time application fee of $54.

Users have until Aug. 31 to apply for the licence.

Krishna said Airbnb will "kick people off the site" if they are not complying with the rules by the end of the summer.

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