Listing for a whole suite in Fairfield on AirBnB as of Friday morning. (Screenshot)

EDITORIAL: Legal battle looming over vacation rentals

Owners of properties used for short-term rentals (STR), as well as companies that manage those properties, are getting ready to fight the City of Victoria’s proposed regulations. It’s a battle the City likely saw coming.

We’re not surprised that some residents, fighting for the right to earn additional income on revenue properties, are up in arms at the City choosing to regulate the industry.

We’ve heard from owners, including those operating legal STRs, that they want the City to use hard data to prove the industry is having a detrimental effect on the residential rental market, and to make sure regulations are fair.

Regulating this industry is still a relatively new science, and although there are lessons to learn from Vancouver, Whistler and cities south of the border, we should know what is happening here before making drastic changes.

Which is why we’re happy the City is contracting an independent company to collect data on Victoria’s vacation rental industry.

Those details are not known, but the issues facing Victoria are common in North America. Governments are struggling to balance peoples’ property rights with the impact on neighbours, in terms of affordability and quality of life. For tourist destinations like Victoria, these issues can be even more pronounced.

Owners of these properties may find the business licence fees too high, or regulations too tight to continue business, but they are still left with reasonable options.

Victoria isn’t going to lose its tourism-appeal overnight. If property owners find the situation untenable, they can always go back to renting to long-term tenants, and with such a low vacancy rate, they’re sure to find tenants lining up.

Buyers, too, will be quick to snatch up the homes and condos whose owners can’t or won’t continue in the short-term rental business. That’s what the City’s initial goal was, anyway, to open up the housing market, and that could be the result.

However, we’re glad the City is taking a closer look at the situation so councillors can make an informed decision.

Just Posted

Early morning crash on Royal Oak overpass

Emergency crews remain on scene and traffic expected to be affected

‘Good Samaritan’ honoured for saving man from capsized canoe

BC Ambulance Service said Rob Clifford’s actions saved man’s life in December 2017 incident

Canada has enough pipelines to get the moon

Pipelines totalling 840,000 kilometres run across Canada

Canadian university profs are getting older and working longer

New statistics also show more women in Canadian university faculties

Christmas craft beer show coming to Victoria

50 breweries will be featured in the third annual Christmas Craft Beer Show

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Two B.C. police officers, held in Cuba for months, cleared of sex assault allegations

Port Moody Const. Jordan Long and Vancouver Const. Mark Simms have been in Cuba since March

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Chef claims $1-million with lottery ticket purchased in Ladysmith

A Vancouver woman is $1-million richer after purchasing a winning Lotto Max… Continue reading

Sunrise ceremony at B.C. legislature honours Louis Riel

Nov. 16 marks the 133th anniversary of the Métis leader’s death

California wildfire death toll hits 63

Sheriff says hundreds still missing in nation’s deadliest wildfire

Harsh storms have nearly tripled power outages in last five years, BC Hydro says

More frequent and severe storms have damaged Hydro’s electrical systems since 2013

Trudeau to meet key Pacific trade partners at APEC leaders’ summit

Canada became one of the first six countries to ratify the CPTPP

Judge orders White House to return press pass to CNN’s Acosta

U.S. District Court Judge will decide on White House press credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta

Most Read