In November, 2014 CBC News reported that a resident homeowner was surprised to find that apartments in her East Vancouver strata building were being used for vacation rentals on Airbnb.
Airbnb is an online vacation rental service. Airbnb disrupts the traditional vacation rental model by allowing people to rent out their homes – or even spare rooms – nightly, weekly and monthly.
venturebeat.com notes that Airbnb has grown 750% since 2009. An indicator that services like Airbnb are here to stay.
Many stratas and municipalities located in tourist destinations are grappling with the impact of services like Airbnb. The Resort Municipality of Whistler is yet to find a solution to what it describes as “illegal nightly rentals” being generated through Airbnb.
Tony Gioventu, executive director of the Condominium Home Owners’ Association of B.C. states that “Services like Airbnb fall outside of the normal strata rental bylaws. The whole strata should get together and find out what the real issues with Airbnb are. Strata corporations need to come up with a reasonable solution that accommodates peoples needs”.
The growing popularity of online vacation rental services like Airbnb present new challenges for BC stratas. With good communication and clear thinking these challenges can be overcome. Who knows, there may even be a solution that leverages Airbnb to provide future benefit to the strata.