Stressed Cities Try to Rein in Accommodation ’Sharing’ Sites Like Airbnb
Finding a place to live in Vancouver is getting harder all the time. Finding a place to stay may never have been easier: the number of rooms, suites and apartments available short-term and online has skyrocketed over the past 18 months.
Whether short-term rentals really remove potentially permanent accommodation from the marketplace is hard to say.
California’s Santa Monica didn’t ban short-term, whole-unit rentals outright. Instead, it made them expensive and unpopular. The city, with a population of about 90,000, still allows renting out a spare bedroom or shared room. But one rule pretty much ended the rental of entire homes or apartments: the host has to be living there while renters occupy the place.
City officials estimated that the rule — plus an associated 14 per cent tax and requirement for a business licence — would eliminate 1,400 of the 1,700 listings in Santa Monica at the time of the ordinance.