Seattle approves tax on Airbnb, short-term rental operators

Seattle City Council Passes Per-Night Fees for Short-Term Rentals Like Airbnb

Seattle City Council Passes Per-Night Fees for Short-Term Rentals Like Airbnb

The city of Vancouver passed new rules on Tuesday banning homeowners from renting out certain kinds of property on short-term rental websites like Airbnb, as part of an attempt to deal with a housing shortage that has led to soaring rents.

The council was also set to consider a separate but related package of new regulations for short-term rentals today, but sent that back to committee for more discussion later this year. It has become a hotly contested issue for local residents, who have blamed foreign buyers and short-term rentals, among other issues, for making housing unaffordable.

The newly approved tax, meanwhile, might never be implemented.

Airbnb said in a statement that it would continue to operate in Vancouver and supports the city's efforts to "recognize and regulate home sharing".

Anyone who lists their property as a short-term rental on websites such as Airbnb and Expedia will now have to buy a $49 annual license, which must be posted on their online listing.

The city says about 6,000 short-term rentals are in operation while the vacancy rate for long-term renters is extremely low at less than one per cent.