Listing for a whole suite in Fairfield on AirBnB as of Friday morning. AirBnB

Listing for a whole suite in Fairfield on AirBnB as of Friday morning. AirBnB

City to hire contractor to study short-term rentals in Victoria

Councillors approve in principle awarding contract to California company

The City of Victoria has given intent to award a bid to California company Host Compliance LLC to collect data and create a report on short-term rentals (STRs) in Victoria.

The bid closes today (Dec. 8) at 4 p.m. Company CEO Ulrick Binzer said the City doesn’t have data on the scale and scope of short-term rentals, and the report would provide the ability to evaluate scenarios, and understand implications of different regulations. A City representative indicated this information would be used to better estimate how many existing STRs may be eligible for business licences under the new rules, and help determine licensing fees.

Related: Draft short term rental bylaw considered in Victoria

According to its website, Host Compliance LLC provides monitoring for short-term rentals and enforcement solutions to local governments, including ensuring that STR renters and owners are complying with regulations, and helping increase tax collected from such properties. The company has gathered data on STRs in 85 Canadian cities, including Vancouver and Edmonton.

Binzer said while he doesn’t know much about Victoria’s particular situation, the issues presented by vacation rentals are nearly universal.

“A lot of cities in North America are struggling with how to balance peoples’ property rights with the impact it has on the neighbours, in terms of affordability … and quality of life and neighbourhood character implications,” he said. “In Victoria, its probably even more pronounced because it’s a popular tourist destination, especially in the summer.

“What we try to do is help the City get the data so they have the best possible information so they can make decisions on how to deal with this.”

Related: Victoria short-term rental operators start GoFundMe campaign for legal costs

Blake MacKenzie, who runs the Greater Victoria Short Term Rental Alliance and is an advocate for operators and owners, is glad the City is taking this step to better understand the STR market, but hopes they’ll look at the results with an open mind.

“If it’s going to create data that helps the City reconsider some of the decisions, or maybe liberalize their rules a bit, they’ll find in their research that a lot of the aspects they had concerns about may not be valid,” he said.

“As long as it’s not tied to a biased entity to promote an anti-STR agenda, we welcome anybody coming in to provide important data that might help people make better decisions.”

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

short term rentals

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Francina Mettes and Thomas Schouten with the 200-page document they submitted in December of 2018. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Dutch 94-year-old in Saanich earns permanent Canadian residency

Couple of 45 years to stay together in Cadboro Bay

Ron MacDonnell leans over the railing on Beacon Wharf Tuesday afternoon. The Town of City is currently looking into the future of the aging structure. It could make way for a concrete pontoon once part of the floating bridge over Hood Canal in Washington State. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney explores public-private partnership for iconic Beacon Wharf

Wharf committee recommends town invite pontoon company to submit proposal

Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, is shown during a news conference in Ottawa in 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
Isolating provinces is a bad idea, says Canadian Chamber of Commerce

National business organization calls for cohesive approach to COVID-19 measures

Victoria police are seeking home surveillance video and witnesses following a prowling incident in Esquimalt Jan. 20. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt prowler removes air conditioner, peers into person’s home

VicPD is seeking video footage, witnesses following Jan. 20 incident

SD62 bus driver Kerry Zado said it’s common to see drivers lose their patience and pass by his bus while he’s picking up students during the morning commute. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
School bus driver laments motorists who pass while red lights are flashing

All buses in Sooke School District outfitted with stop sign cameras

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Seven streets in downtown Duncan, including Station Street, will soon have new native names added to their signage. (Submitted graphic)
New Duncan street signs will be in English and Hul’q’umi’num

Seven streets to get additional names in First Nations language

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

Most Read