Vancouver condo owners and renters upset by prolific AirBnb hosts
Vancouver Metro
Wanyee Li
31 August 2016  (abridged)

Airbnb listings in Vancouver condos continue to raise concern among some homeowners and renters.

Vancouver resident Diane Felske was shocked when she sold her one-bedroom Olympic Village apartment this summer, only to find it listed on Airbnb weeks later.

“I knew it was my place because I sold our old bed to them. I recognized the bed frame in the picture,” she said.

“I was shocked. I was told that the owners would be staying there,” said Felske, who was looking for a place to rent at the time.

The listing is hosted by ‘Vanessa,’ who has 14 other Vancouver listings on Airbnb.

Vanessa did not return Metro’s request for comment by deadline.

B.C.’s Condominium Home Owners Association (CHOA) has received about 200 complaints from strata councils about Airbnb listings in the past six months, said executive director Tony Gioventu.

But stratas only seem to take issue with people who buy condos with the intention of listing it on Airbnb, he said.

 “We are not getting complaints about people who do Airbnbs when the owners are living in [the apartment] itself,” he said.

“What we are getting complaints about is owners who bought three or four units and are running a hotel out of that strata.”

Listing properties on Airbnb that have shared spaces like common hallways, entryways, and fitness centres is a security breach, said Gioventu.

Hosts often give guests fob access in order to access the condo and that provides them with access to the whole building, he explained.

Gioventu recommends stratas vote in a business bylaw that prohibits rentals shorter than 30 days, which would allow them to fine offenders $200 per day.

If offenders refuse to pay, the strata can take its case to B.C.’s online Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT), which launched this summer. It’s the first online tribunal dedicated to strata matters, according to the CRT website.

Vancouver city staff will present a report to council in September with suggestions on how to regulate Airbnb.

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