Short-Term Rental Regulations Result in Fewer Listings

The City of Victoria has seen a decrease of Airbnb and VRBO listings after the first six months of enforcement of its new short-term rental regulations, part of a suite of actions to increase housing options and affordability.

As of May 2019, the City of Victoria had 1268 active listings, compared to 1440 listings when enforcement efforts began in December 2018. An increasing number of compliant operators have obtained a business licence, while others have removed their short-term listing.

Regulations allow up to two bedrooms in a shared home to be rented short-term, and on occasion the whole home may be rented during temporary absence. A full list of regulations is available at www.Victoria.ca/STR.

Other recent initiatives to improve access to long-term rental housing and support for renters, and increase housing affordability include:

  • creating a Renters’ Advisory Committee to provide advice to Council on rental housing and tenant-related matters
  • committing $1.8 million to build 138 new affordable rental homes
  • increasing funding for the City’s Housing Reserve Fund to $1 million from $250,000 for 2019
  • creating a Tenant Assistance Policy to provide better support for renters who are required to move when their building is rezoned for redevelopment

Victoria City Council passed short-term rental regulations in April 2018, with the full suite of enforcement taking effect in December 2018. If you suspect someone is operating a short-term rental without a licence, it can be reported to the City’s Bylaw Services.

Quick Facts:

  • As of May 2019, the City of Victoria had 1268 active short-term rental listings, compared to 1440 listings in December 2018. That’s a decrease of 172 listings.
  • Currently 675 short-term rentals are licenced in the City of Victoria, compared to 528 licenced short-term rentals in 2018.
  • Of the 675 licenced short-term rentals, 322 are business licences for a principal residence short-term rental (meaning the operator lives in the home) and 353 are for units where the owner does not live in the unit as their principal residence (legally non-conforming, i.e. grandfathered).
  • The City of Victoria has seen a slight improvement in the rental vacancy rate from 0.8% in 2017 to 1.1% in 2018, as a result of the construction of new rental buildings, with 1,269 new rental units built between 2014 and 2018.

For more information about the City of Victoria's housing initiatives, visit the Housing section.