Short term AirBnB style property rentals are not permitted in Vancouver and the city can levy fines up to $10,000, but apparently there are still some of these short term rentals available.
“The difficult and complex thing comes when we move forward with prosecution,” Toma said, explaining that the city needs to connect the property owner to an online short-term rental listing without the help of a specific address.
Toma said a few cases against short-term renters are pending. Fines in those and other cases are up to the prosecutor, but staff recommend they recoup investigation expenses at minimum.
City staff are contemplating new tools to deal with the nuisance aspect of short-term rentals at the same time as assessing the industry’s impact, Toma said.
“We do have such a tight rental market,” Toma said, adding that she hoped staff could craft a smart and enforceable regulation that would also “find that sort of a sweet spot” for those sharing their home to meet their mortgage payments.
Of course there is one kind of short term rental that is currently allowed in Vancouver, but it comes with a few catches:
Bed and breakfasts are allowed in Vancouver, but under certain conditions. Homeowners need to live in the residence and they can host a maximum of four guests in two bedrooms, among other regulations. They also have to pay a one-time development and building permit fee, get a business licence and pass a safety inspection.
Read the full article over at the province.
Over in Toronto there’s an ongoing saga of the hitherto poor real estate investment that is the Trump Tower.
Many buyers have tried to walk away from their investments are are being sued by the developer to make good on their agreements.
Buyers complain that vacancy rates for the hotel condo product are higher than forecast and the costs to cover operating expenses are too high.
A group of buyers attempted to escape from their contracts by complaining to the Ontario Securities Commission arguing that the developer provided financial projections which were too high and against OSC rules.
Unfortunately for them, the OSC has just decided that they will take no action on the matter.
“After a thorough review of the matter, we have determined not to pursue regulatory action,” Carolyn Shaw-Rimmington, a spokeswoman for the commission, said in an emailed statement.
The regulator began looking into the matter after a series of investors complained that they are losing money on the suites. Talon International Development Inc., the tower’s developer, has been at the centre of the controversy.
Read the full article in the Globe and Mail.
The Pique has an article about some remarkable goings-ons just a little ways north. Some hotel condo units in Whistler are now selling for half their peak price.
Those who own a condo unit in a Whistler hotel are sitting on great potential, but at the moment the units are not showing great value.
Real estate consultant Denise Brown with Re/Max Sea to Sky Real Estate reported that a unit originally sold in the Four Seasons Whistler for about $1.1 million was recently resold for only $520,000.
The so-called Phase 2 units in Whistler have fallen victim to the globally depressed financial situation, said Brown.
“We’ve seen the prices come down significantly,” she said.
According to Brown, this segment of the real estate business is at the bottom of the cycle so prices are good right now. She said the people who are happiest in the condo hotel market are those who are in for the long-term and have made a lifestyle choice in purchasing a condo unit in a hotel.
Lifestyle. Got it? Lifestyle, Lifestyle, Lifestyle. Just repeat the mantra and you’ll be fine.
Then there’s this gem:
Kelly said this segment of the real estate industry has improved in the last six months but people aren’t willing to spend as much in Whistler as they were a decade ago.
“It’s not anything wrong with Whistler or that Whistler is worth less,” said Kelly. “It is just that people are prepared to spend less.”
It’s not that Whistler is worth less than it has ever been worth, it’s that some people paid more than it was worth.