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Buying a Property for Airbnb in the Lower Mainland

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

We've all heard the stories about how buying something to Airbnb can be a license to print money but, is it that easy?

Of course not! Nothing is that easy.

Maybe in the olden days in 2008 when Airbnb first showed up it was a great idea but nowadays things are much, MUCH (I cannot stress this "MUCH" much more!) different.

Each municipality, hamlet, district, city have their own rules around short term rentals and knowing those rules prior to buying is super important so you don't get stuck with something you don't want.

Ok, in investment property purchasing we talk about CAP (Capitalization Rate) I won't get too deep into this but, basically, the CAP rate is how much money you earn, after expenses, from your rental property. In places where rents are high and real estate is, relatively, cheap you'll get a high CAP. But in most big cities or resort towns you're looking at a much lower CAP rate because purchase prices are higher.

Let's take the District of North Vancouver as an example. Currently the district does not allow for airbnb. They do allow for "short term rentals" in the form of bed and breakfasts, lodgers and short term rentals (not less than 30 days). However, the District of North Vancouver is considering amending this policy and a proposal was made to council this summer (2023) to do so.

The City of Vancouver, on the other hand, has a more relaxed take on Airbnb. They do allow some with strata approval and there are several buildings that allow you to Airbnb. Contact me for a list if you're interested.

That said, any Airbnb in Vancouver requires a license to operate and they are VERY diligent on this point. You pay taxes on the rental income.

It's worth noting that only your principle residence can be rented through Airbnb or a room in your house. You can do longer (over 30 days) rentals of other properties but not less than 30 days. Again, you absolutely have to check the CURRENT rules with each municipality you're thinking about. The rules change all the time.

The bottom line is this; work with a Realtor® who knows about Airbnb and knows where to find the info for each city, town, resort etc. There's not much worse than thinking you're buying a revenue property only to get hit with a million fines for not being compliant to local regulations.

Call me. I've got the goods.

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