The Evolving Story of Airbnb

The Evolving Story of Airbnb - Feartured Image

Written ByMathieu Powell

I'm a sceptic & humanist who's optimistic about our future. Our stories help us find common ground.

Why Are Airbnb’s Necessary

Most communities view short-term rentals as a necessary component of the housing markets and tourism industries. International tourism is at record levels and the demand for accommodations in major tourist destinations can often outstrips the supply of available hotel, motel and traditional bed and breakfasts.

The answer is short-term rentals fill in the gap, and most municipalities are friendly to Airbnb because visitors bring money to spend in the local economy.

What’s All The Fuss All About?

But pressure from hotel associations, housing advocates to bring in more regulation has increased, especially following the tragic murder-suicide on January 31st at a Toronto condo being rented out as an Airbnb. While such events are uncommon, they served as a rallying cry for traditional hospitality services and municipal governments in Canada are responding.

In Calgary, as of February 1st, Airbnb or other short-term rental services are now required to obtain a business license or face a $1,000 penalty for repeated violations in Calgary.

In Vancouver, short-term rentals can only be operated from the home in which you reside in (your primary residence). Secondary homes/investment properties are not allowed.

Victoria cracked down on illegally operating short-term rental units a year-and-a-half ago and reaped the rewards of the legal end of the owner-run accommodation boom. Starting late 2018, owners of homes interested in running short-term rental operations were required by the City of Victoria to apply for one of two business licences: wherein the Airbnb is the person’s principle residence, the fee is $150. If the site is not the principle residence the business licence fee is $1,500. The city reaped around a million dollars in revenue in 2019 through its new regulations.