Dominic Darmanin

Cell: 604-788-1476 |

Short-Term Rentals Targeted in New York City and Vancouver

The New York state senate has approved a bill (not yet signed by Governor Cuomo) making it illegal for people to even advertize renting out their home for less than 30 days. Should someone contravene this bill they would face $1,000, $5,000 and $7,500 in successive fines for their first three transgressions.


Meanwhile in Vancouver, Mayor Gregor Robertson wants to ban Airbnb rentals altogether unless they purchase a business license from the city. According to Robertson:


            "Housing is first and foremost about homes, not about operating a business."


As bureaucrats and politicians are apt to do, they like to simplify a situation to justify imposing more regulations or demanding yet another tax. I am certain that there those in Vancouver who need the additional income generated by renting out rooms in their homes on a short term basis. Then there are investors that have purchased an investment property or two and want to generate cash flow and to off-set expenses.


It would simply be to time consuming and cumbersome for the City of Vancouver to try and distinguish between those that need to have their homes generate an income to survive and those that do it for pure profit. Besides, given that most investment properties in Vancouver are purchased by foreign investors, specifically targeting one group or another would be unCanadian and likely an infringement of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Consequently, just go after all short term rentals and be done with it!


There is an honesty in the reasoning used by NYC  as opposed to Vancouver to  justify this ban. In NYC they acknowledge that Airbnb takes business away from hotels and that people who rent out rooms on short term basis are actually operating as “illegal hotels”. Hotel owners and operators are consequently exerting their influence to stop these “illegal hotels”, as they don't want the competition.


In Vancouver meanwhile, though Mayor Robertson recognizes that some people need to supplement their income in an expensive city, however, those that do so should get a business license and post their license number in their advertizing. Sounds like another tax grab to me. Besides, what ever happened to:


"Housing is first and foremost about homes, not about operating a business."


I think this quote should read”


“Fine, rent out rooms in your houses on a short term basis, just let us in on the action”


No politician would ever pass up a great opportunity to justify another tax, now would they?

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