Neighbours outraged by Burnaby home operating as 9-room hotel on Airbnb
Published Friday, March 23, 2018 5:27PM PDT
Homeowners on a residential street in Burnaby, B.C. say they were shocked to discover a home in the area has been operating as a quasi-hotel using short-term rental sites such as Airbnb.
"I was wondering where these people are from," said a man named Brandon, who rents in one of the nearby homes. "The next person would show up and the next person would show up."
The house, which was bought for $2.65 million last September, is listed as a hostel on Booking.com, CTV News has learned. Nine different rooms in the property are also listed on Airbnb.
Some neighbours say they're concerned with the safety of the operation.
"That's no good. It's not safe…It should be stopped," said area resident Peter, adding that people should go through city hall if they want to legally rent out their property.
Others said the short-term rentals ruin the neighbourhood feel of the area.
"You want to have a neighbourhood with people who have been living here for a while. You kind of want to make the neighbourhood friendly," Brandon said. "It's kind of an in-and-out, revolving door. No one wants to see that.”
Since late December, bedrooms in the home have been advertised for between $32 and $68 a night. If all nine rooms are rented every night of the month for an average of $50 each, that means the owner would bring in more than $13,000 a month.
But this kind arrangement isn't allowed in the city.
"This is not legal—not at all," said Dan Layng, chief licence inspector for the City of Burnaby. "This is outside of the norm, for sure."
Layng said homes in Burnaby can have up to two boarders at a time, but only if the property is occupied by primary residents.
"This house isn't occupied by a family…This is operating as a hotel, sort of," he said.
The city says it will investigate exactly what's going on at the home and act accordingly to make sure the owners are complying with local bylaws.
"Our goal is always to work co-operatively with people and look for voluntary compliance,” Layng said.
The owner of the home didn't respond to CTV's request for comment.
In November, the City of Vancouver approved a licensing plan that legalizes short-term or Airbnb-style rentals, but limits them to principal residences.
Under the new rules, a homeowner will have to get a $49 per year licence and display that licence on their listing.
A room in a home could be put up on Airbnb, but a basement suite in that home would have to be rented out long-term to residents.
Renters will need their landlord’s permission to list their residence.
Layng said Burnaby is also looking at what it can do to regulate these types of rentals.
Airbnb will also be responsible for collecting 8 per cent PST and up to 3 per cent municipal and regional district sales tax on all accommodations rented out through its site, according to a recent agreement with the province.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Shannon Paterson