City action on Airbnb, other online booking platforms, to come to council in September

rentVancouver city staff will be coming to council in September with proposed actions to regulate online booking platforms like Airbnb, according to a memorandum to council released today.

The report to council will trigger a comprehensive consultation before council takes steps to regulate the online agencies, whose bookings seem to be skyrocketing at the expense of long-term rental stock.

The news comes in the wake of a unanimous council vote in favour of my motion to call on Victoria to extend existing tax policies regarding the collection of hotel and provincial sales taxes to online booking platforms.

The memo from Kathleen Llewellyn-Thomas, general manager of community services, says Airbnb will be releasing an analysis of its own data on Vancouver-area bookings as early as next week.

Vancouver staff have already been in touch with their counterparts in a number of other cities to see how their regulations are unfolding. In New York and San Francisco, Airbnb is suing city administrations to turn back new rules requiring Airbnb to ensure its hosts are appropriately registered..