Short-Term Rentals

A:

When it comes to short-term rentals such as AirBnB accommodations, there is an important distinction to be made.

If you are renting out a room or suite in your house or on your property as an AirBnB then that is your right as a property owner. While I would personally prefer you rented that suite out long term to help with the abysmally low rental vacancy rate in town, it is not your local government's place to tell you what to do in your own home.

However, in the case of people buying up condos and apartments for the sole purpose of using them as AirBnB suites, there is an issue. Not only is this is contributing to the lack of supply in the City of Victoria but it is also skirting many of the important rules and regulations we have regarding proper accommodations and if you use any service aside from AirBnB it allows guests to our city to avoid paying the Municipal & Regional District Tax (MDRT) otherwise known as the Hotel Tax. The MDRT funds make up an important part of the funding for local tourism promotion and, as of the past year, can be used by municipalities for affordable housing initiatives. I have generally agreed with the current council's lip-service on this matter but there has been very little action towards bringing permissible short-term rentals into the legal framework and cracking down on illegal ones. Enforcement of bylaws and empowering stratas is key to moving forward.