Richmond looks to tighten up short-term rental rules

To address the problem of illegal short-term rentals in the midst of a tight rental market, Richmond city council is looking to tighten up rules around boarding and lodging and add two bylaw officers.

The proposals include requiring a business licence and restricting boarding and lodging operators to homeowners – the operator cannot be a corporation. That way, operators can only run one boarding and lodging business. City staff have also recommended hiring two more bylaw officers, at a cost of $240,000, for one year to enforce short-term rental regulations.

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The fine for operating without a licence or not as the owner would be $1,000, if approved by council. The fine for having more than two guests would also be $1,000.

Kerry Starchuk, who organized a petition against birth tourism last year and has spoken out against short-term rentals, said she would like to see a buffer zone added to boarding and lodging accommodations.

The bylaw amendments will be dealt with at Monday’s committee meeting.

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