City Wins Short-Term Rental Court Cases

Illegal short-term rental operators are learning the hard way that the City of Victoria is actively enforcing its short-term rental policy. 

Four recent court cases against illegal short-term rental operators demonstrate the City’s short-term rental policy and enforcement efforts are working. The cases resulted in close to $20,000 in fines and court orders prohibiting five people from operating short-term rentals. The decisions confirm the City’s regulations are sound and pave the way for future prosecutions against illegal operators.

The court cases involved short-term rentals that were operated without a licence, some of which had been denied a licence and continued to operate anyway. The properties included two duplexes, one condo, one garden suite, and one single-family home with a basement suite.

People are eligible for a Short-Term Rental Business Licence if it is their principal residence and they are renting the whole home (entire dwelling unit) on occasion, such as while on vacation, or up to two bedrooms with shared kitchen and living spaces while at home. In addition, short-term rentals may be allowed in a non-principal residence that has legal non-conforming status. For more information, see the Operating a Short-Term Rental in Victoria info sheet.

To operate a short-term rental business in Victoria, properties must have a Short-Term Rental Business Licence and comply with operating requirements. So far in 2021, the City has issued 504 Short-Term Rental Business Licences, 426 of which are for non-principal residence operators and 78 for principal resident operators.

The fine for operating a short-term rental without a licence is $500 per day. Advertising without a valid licence carries a fine of $250 per day. Fines may be imposed for every day of the offence, going back as much as six months before initiation of the prosecution.

Annual applications for Short-Term Rental Business Licences are now open. Applications are available online. Learn more at victoria.ca/STR.