Richmond city council votes to crackdown on short-term Airbnb rentals

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      In an unexpected change of course, Richmond city council voted unanimously to prohibit illegal short-term housing rentals.

      Despite a report last week from city staff that recommended regulating and licensing short-term rentals, including those found on Airbnb, the City of Richmond voted on January 9 to make amendments to limit rental activities by homeowners for short duration visits.

      City council asked staff to make recommendations on changing current regulations to ban rentals for less than 30 days.

      “We’ve heard clearly from the community that they want action on short-term rentals and Council has responded,” Mayor Malcolm Brodie stated in a news release. “We are concerned by the loss of affordable housing options created by the proliferation of short-term rentals as well as the disruption to quiet neighbourhoods and quality of life created by many of these operations. We are moving towards a more focussed regulatory and enforcement approach to address these concerns.”

      Fines will be increased for anyone who doesn't comply.

      Licenced bed-and-breakfast businesses will be among the exceptions.