The City of Victoria won several court cases against residents who were illegally operating short-term rentals. (Image courtesy Creative Outlet)

Victoria points to court wins as proof short-term rental crackdown is working

Fines totalling $20,000 upheld by courts, five residents banned from operating short-term spaces

The City of Victoria continues to enforce its short-term rental policy to crack down on illegal short-term rental operators.

Four recent court cases that resulted in nearly $20,000 in fines against illegal short-term rental operators show policies around illegal short-term renting have been effective, the city stated in a release. The court orders prohibit five people from operating short-term rentals.

Those involved were operating without a licence – these properties included two duplexes, one condo, one garden suite and a single-family home with a basement suite.

Operating a short-term rental without a licence results in a fine of $500 per day and advertising such a unit without a valid licence carries a $250 per day fine.

“In the midst of the ongoing housing crisis, the city’s short-term rental regulations balance the opportunity for people to earn a little extra income with the importance of protecting long-term rental housing for people who need it like students, seniors, families and people saving up to buy their own place,” said Mayor Lisa Helps in a statement.

RELATED STORY: B.C. mayors renew call on province to regulate short-term rentals

“The vast majority of short-term rental operators are playing by the rules, which demonstrates that our policy and enforcement approach works well to achieve that balance. Those who don’t will face consequences.”

Residents are eligible for a short-term rental business licence if it is their primary residence and they are renting the whole home on occasion, such as while on vacation. Residents may also rent up to two bedrooms with shared kitchen and living spaces while at home.

To operate a short-term rental business in Victoria properties must have a licence and comply with operating requirements. Applications are available online at victoria.ca/STR.

ALSO READ: Rentals, ‘co-living’ units in design of proposed 16-storey development in Victoria’s Harris Green


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