Richmond city council has finally approved recommendations from its licensing department to address concerns about illegal, hotel-like operations and other negative impacts on neighbourhoods.
There will not be a complete ban on short-term rentals, but rather a restriction on the number of newly licensed bed and breakfasts across the municipality and every residential dwelling, except for secondary suites and coach houses, will be allowed to rent a bedroom, or 2 to up to 2 people, on a daily basis.
The city is also going to temporarily increase the number of inspectors to address suspected house-hotel operations and other short-term rentals that skirt existing bylaws, which have been described by some councillors as full of loopholes and devoid of enforceable measures.
The key to the new changes will be the fact that a short-term 'operator' must reside in the home. Furthermore, a licensed bed and breakfast operator must be the owner of the house and 'live' in the home full-time.
The short term rental of entire dwellings (detached or strata) for less than 30 days is prohibited.
A bed and breakfast will allow for a city licensed operator to rent out 3 bedrooms to up to 6 people in total, daily. But a 500 metre buffer between bed and breakfasts will limit the number of licenses across the city.
Fines for violations will increase from $250 to $1,000.
The new regulations will come into effect after final adoption of the bylaw amendments, which are expected to take place later this month.