Vancouver Short Term Rental FAQ

What qualifies a dwelling to permit short-term rental use? 

Short-term rental use permissibility varies based on a number of factors. Municipal-specific regulations primarily govern the use of dwellings for short-term rental purposes. For condominium or strata buildings, additional site-specific bylaws govern what - if any - rental restrictions are placed on strata lots within a particular building. These guiding efforts have been implemented so that residents can earn supplemental income, while sustainably minding the population-level need to protect long-term rental housing requirements for all residents. 

What qualifies a particular condominium to permit short-term rental use?

The downtown area of the City of Vancouver is home to many condominium buildings; although, not all of them permit their units to be used for short-term rental use. Strata bylaws regulate the exact requirements with which a short term rental operator in a building must adhere to in order to comply with the collective desires of the residents of a building. Furthermore, the City of Vancouver only issues short-term rental business licenses for dwellings that are the principal residence of the rental operator. 

Do I need a permit to advertise on short-term rental websites? 

Yes. While there are several requirements to operate a short-term rental in the City of Vancouver, a business license must foremost be obtained from the City and renewed annually. The unique number of this license must be included in all online listings and advertising of a short term rental. Furthermore, a copy of this license must be displayed within the unit that will be rented for short-term use.

Am I required to inform my strata management corporation when operating a short term rental in my primary residence?  

Owners in buildings which have strata bylaws that expressly permit for the units of a building to be used for short-term rental use must have approval from their strata. If you are a long-term renter of a unit in such a building and wish to rent out your rental unit on a short-term basis, you must further have the approval of your landlord to use your rented unit. Strata permission as well as landlord approval, if applicable, must be obtained prior to applying for a short-term rental use business license with the City of Vancouver.

What can happen if I do not inform my strata management corporation of operating a short term rental in my primary residence? 

Strata bylaws are enforceable. Renting a unit for a short-term period in a building which does not allow short-term rentals of units can result in fines of up to $1,000 per day. It is imperative to check the individual building bylaws and rules before renting any unit for short-term use. 

What period of time is considered a short-term rental?

Short-term rental use in the City of Vancouver refers to a rental period of less than 30 consecutive days. This time period applies to both entire homes and individual units, as well as a room within a home or unit.

What is not permitted in short-term rental use?   

The City of Vancouver does not permit the following under short-term rental use: 

  • Using a home or unit that is not the principal residence of the owner as a short term rental;   

  • Not displaying a valid short-term rental building license when operating, listing, or advertising a short-term rental;   

  • Operating a short-term rental unit in a way that causes a negative impact - by way of excessive noise, garbage build-up, or parking constraints - on the surrounding community;

  • Attempting to utilize one approved short-term rental business license for multiple homes or dwelling units for the purposes of advertising multiple spaces for short-term rental use; and

  • Listing accessory buildings as short-term rental units.

Can I operate my short-term rental under my current business? 

No. You cannot operate short-term rentals under a business. In fact, businesses, societies, and commercial operations are ineligible to apply for a short-term rental licence.

Can I operate a short-term rental without a city licence?

No. Short-term rental business licences are mandatory when operating a short-term rental in the City of Vancouver. Doing so without one can result in hefty fines. Furthermore, falsifying information on an application for a short term rental license can result in its subsequent suspension if the license was obtained under false pretenses.  

Can a unit be strictly for short-term rental purposes?

The City of Vancouver has a specific criteria for short-term rentals. Short-term rental accommodation is only permitted in a lawful dwelling unit, secondary suite, laneway house, or lock-off unit. Importantly, the unit must be the primary residence of the operator in order to qualify for short-term rental use. 

Are there limitations with regards to the number of people that rent the unit?

No more than two adults may occupy each bedroom used as part of a short-term rental accommodation. 

Can I hire someone to manage the short-term rental?

Once you have received a business licence from the City of Vancouver for short-term rental use, you are able to hire a property management company to manage the rental unit. The property management company must have a valid property management business licence. Marketing or managing more than one short-term rental unit requires a valid property management business license.  

Are there any specific unit requirements for short-term rental units in the City of Vancouver?

In order to be eligible for short-term rental use, units must have the following attributes: 

  • be a legal dwelling unit;

  • have valid around-the-clock contact information for the owner or operator;

  • have a fire plan visible at all entrances and exits to the unit; 

  • have interconnected smoke alarms on each floor and in every bedroom;

  • have a working an accessible fire extinguisher on each floor; and  

  • if there are gas appliances, then there must be carbon monoxide detectors on each floor

  • Inspect, perform annual inspections, and retain related records regarding smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors in units used for short-term rental purposes

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Jordan Michael

Mobile: (778) 995-4103

Phone: (604) 533-3939

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Sutton Group - West Coast Realty

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