Vancouver’s chief licencing officer announced with much fanfare that the number of Airbnb listings in the city have dropped from around 6,600 in April to just 3,742 in September. But in just 10 days since the City of Vancouver’s September 5 announcement, hosts have added 578 news listings, bringing the total to 4,320.

Out of these 578 listings, at least 400 appear to be listings claiming dubious exemptions, or listings with obviously fake, incorrect or duplicate licences.

To meaningfully protect our long term rental market from being decimated by Airbnb and other short term accommodation platforms, we must take the following steps:

  1. Introduce licence auto-verification, so, we can nip unlicensed units and licence cheats in the bud
  2. Introduce a tough new bylaw and agreements that hold platforms accountable for the hosts’ actions
  3. Make Airbnb fines lienable, so that the city can place liens against egregious violators who refuse to pay the fines

At the same time, the City should use fines collected from short term rental violators to help the Airbnb’s greatest victims: the renters.