Trying to ease its severe housing shortage, Vancouver this week set tough limits on short-term rentals, particularly targeting Airbnb.
The new regulations, passed by the City Council on Tuesday, will bar businesses from offering short-term rentals through Airbnb and similar services; individuals will be allowed to rent only their principal residences. Suites in basements, above garages or in coach houses can no longer be offered as short-term rentals.
The city is struggling with both exceptionally high housing prices and unusually low vacancy rates for apartments and houses. Officials hope the restrictions will free up more housing for long-term rentals.
But an analysis of the regulations city officials prepared for the City Council offers no hard evidence that more apartments will become available but it characterized the measures as a way to protect further losses of rental units. And Airbnb said Wednesday that the company might challenge the new rules....The new measures in Vancouver will sit somewhere between those of New York City, which bans rentals in apartment buildings and other multiunit dwellings unless the host is present, and Austin, Tex., which requires little more than licensing and rules requiring operators not to create a nuisance..