Photo shows one of the hundreds of units being used as short-term vacation rentals in Victoria. City council is aiming to implement regulations that will restrict the number of spaces being used for that purpose, through companies such as AirBnB. Contributed photo

Victoria moves to regulate short-term vacation rentals such as AirBnB

City staff to prepare an enforcement strategy for council’s inspection

Victoria council has moved the city one step closer to regulating short-term vacation rentals such as AirBnB, but enforcing those regulations remains a key issue.

City staff indicated Thursday they are still unsure of how the proposed new rules would be enforced, with respect to the hundreds of short-term vacation rentals currently operating in the city. A report is expected to come back to council in the coming months with details of an enforcement strategy.

That strategy could include fines, audit options for sites to monitor owners’ adherence to the new rules and regulations, and the creation of a dedicated short-term rental website to give owners clarity and transparency about the regulations.

Sitting as committee of the whole Thursday, councillors approved recommendations which would limit short-term rentals by way of zoning regulations, housing agreements, and working with the B.C. Assessment Authority to ensure properties used for rentals are under the appropriate class.

Staff will also establish business regulations for existing and future short-term rentals, such as potential requiring operators to have a business licence, business licence fees and establishing rules for operation.

“These recommendations are a good place for us to start, since it seems quite balanced,” said Coun. Marianne Alto during discussions.

More to come.

kendra.wong@vicnews.com