Jay Mcinnes

Mobile: 604-771-4606


Updated AirBnB/Short Term Rental Breakdown!

Updated AirBnB/ Short Term Rentals Breakdown

Back in September 2018 we created an AirBnB dedicated video/podcast/blog. This was when all of the changes came into play for short term rentals, naturally there is a slight lag time for these changes to really settle, and for them to smart running smoothly.

Due to the popularity of that coverage, we felt it would be important to provide an update version, 9 months later for those of you interested in either learning how short term rentals work, or potentially interested in purchasing an ‘STR able’ property!

So in a nutshell, we’ve written this as a Q&A format, with appropriate explanations below each answer for clarification.

Is AirBnB Legal? - Yes, provided you comply with city and building rules and regulations. These rules include the property being your principal residence, the building allowing short term rentals (if living in a stratified complex) and the property being registered with the city to do so. Check out the link below for a full list of the rules and regulations:
How Many Buildings Allow Short Term Rentals (STR) in Vancouver? - As of writing this blog, roughly 18 properties in Vancouver allow them. Remember this only applies to stratified properties, if you own a house you are not subject to Strata bylaws. A few of these buildings include 1372 Seymour Street, 688 Abbott Street, 1010 Howe Street, 933 Seymour Street. Feel free to give us a call to learn the full extensive list.

What if I buy in a building that allows STR, can it then be banned? - Yes, A building is essentially regulated by it’s owners. So a vote can take place at an Annual General Meeting (AGM), or Special General Meeting (SGM). However in order to be voted out, the votes need to be in favour of doing so by a ¾ majority. It’s not as simple as the most votes wins.

Can I protect myself from the above happening? - To an extent yes, some buildings allow STR’s as they have never voted on it, whereas it is possible to purchase in a building that has already had this vote, with the deciding result to keep STR’s. In some cases, some buildings have actively voted to allow STR’s, meaning it’s highly unlikely (but still possible) that STR’s will be banned in the near future. Of course any building can always bring the vote to the table, however you can be tactful in your purchase to minimize your risk.

Can I pay a property management company to manage my STR? - Yes! But make sure you specifically get a STR service in particular. Standard rental management is different from STR management. The latter is typically more expensive due to it being more hands on and regular cleaning etc with shorter stays on average.

What is the licence number about? - This is the business licence number you will receive from the City of Vancouver which will prove you being registered. This number should be displayed on your ad on AirBnB, VRSO etc.

Is there anything I should be aware of when buying a STR unit? - Aside from the above, make sure to check out the average per night rates for the area/units. Depending on what level of condo you want to rent out, can depend on what buildings you should be looking at. I.e. Do you want Air Conditioning? Close to Skytrains? Etc. Depending on your preferences, certain buildings will match your criteria and others won’t, just like buying a regular property. There are too many variables to list here, but we are happy to have an individual conversation with you if you have specific criteria you will need to achieve. Don’t forget to check your building bylaws too. Some buildings that allow STR’s need you to register them and/or pay a small monthly fee.

Be aware of what municipality you fall under - The above discusses the City of Vancouver, however places such as the District of North Vancouver and Richmond do not allow STR’s at all. Make sure you are staying up to date with district rules and regulations.
What about the fines? - If you are using STR illegally, you can be fined through Strata and/or the city. Some of these fines can be up to $1,000 per day.

How much can I make from STR’s? - This can be seasonally different, but it’s not uncommon to see figures of around $10,000+ a month in the high periods. The yearly total can change based upon your availability to rent, and area/building. Some of our clients are making an additional $60,000 - $80,000 a year from their STR alone!!

That about sums us up for this week's talk! We deal with STR clients A LOT. It’s in fact one of our specialties, so feel free to reach out if you have any further questions.

Thanks for reading along,

Jay Mcinnes
T: 604.771.4606

Ben Robinson
T: 604.353.8523