Almost every strata/condo building in downtown Vancouver has voted through bylaws not permitting short term rentals. Although there are strict rules surrounding the issue, there are some strata buildings which still allow for short term rentals like Airbnb and vacation rentals by owner (VRBO). You will need to apply for a license to do so, but knowing which properties allow short term rentals may factor into your investment decisions.
Does Vancouver Support Short Term Rentals?
The rise of Vancouver property in the last decade has priced a lot of residents out of the market. In order to make housing more available and affordable, a number of taxes have been implemented to try and resupply the market with unused or vacant properties. Similarly, the City of Vancouver has implemented rules and regulations surrounding short term rental properties, such as those used for Airbnb, in attempt to make housing more affordable for city residents.
A ‘short term’ rental is one that occurs for less than 30 days. Prior to April 2018, the only short term rentals available were licensed hotels and bed and breakfasts. From September 2018 however, homeowners have been able to apply for a short-term rentals business license, and use their property to supplement their income.
Whilst short term rentals are now permitted, they must:
Adhere to the City of Vancouver rules surrounding Airbnb/VRBO
Be permitted by the strata bylaws
Does My Vancouver Property Qualify for Airbnb?
The main stipulation when it comes to the short term rentals license in Vancouver is that the property must be your primary residence. That is, you live in it for at least 180 days of the year. The rental can be the entire home or a room within it, and property owners must acquire both the license and approval from their strata body to qualify. It also needs to meet the required safety standards, such as fire safety, and be considered a legal dwelling.
It’s important to note that these restrictions only apply to strata buildings. If you own a freehold property you are free to use it as you wish.
Strata Buildings That ALLOW Airbnb in Vancouver
Whilst we aim to maintain the accuracy and recency of this list of Airbnb/VRBO approved properties in Vancouver, strata rules can literally be changed at any time. The following details the most up-to-date list for buildings that allow for short-term rentals for Airbnb/VRBO, as well as which strata buildings in Vancouver allow short-term rentals for 30 days or more.
For the most up-to-date information regarding which strata buildings allow for short-term rentals in Vancouver, or if you’re looking for a buyers agent to acquire one of these properties, please reach out and connect with our team.
618 and 688 Abbott Street (Also same at 58 Keefer Place as they are same development) – Firenze
689 Abbott Street – Espana
555 Abbott Street – Paris Place
1060 Alberni Street – The Carlyle
907 Beach Avenue – Coral Court
890 Broughton Street – 890 Broughton
1050 Burrard Street – Wall Centre
1160 Burrard Street – 1160 Burrard
1238 Burrard Street – Altadena
1010 Chico Street – Chilco Park
933, 955, & 983 E Hastings Street – Strathcona Village
1228 Homer Street – Ellison
1331 Homer Street – Pacific Point 2
1010 Howe Street – Fortune House
183 Keefer Place – Paris Place
188 Keefer Place – Espana
718 Main Street – Ginger
1166 Melville Street – Orca Place
87 and 89 Nelson Street – Arc
989 Nelson Street – Electra
28 Powell Street – Powell Lane
933 Seymour Street – Spot
1372 Seymour Street – Mark
141 Water Street – Malkin Building
33 West Pender Street – 33 West Pender
Strata Buildings in Vancouver That Allow Short Term Lease/Rental- Minimum 30 Day Lease
Whilst some strata buildings in Vancouver allow Airbnb/VRBO, others require a minimum 30-day lease term to be eligible for short term rental. Similar to rental properties allowing less than 30-day terms, these restrictions are dictated by individual strata regulations and can vary between buildings, or change with each meeting of the strata body. It’s also important to note that property owners are still required to adhere to the City of Vancouver rules surrounding short term rentals, including acquiring a short term rentals business license.
At the time of writing, the following properties allow for short term rentals in Vancouver, for a minimum lease length of 30 days:
27 Alexander – Alexis
1200 Alberni Street – The Palisades
1288 Alberni Street – The Palisades
1003 Burnaby Street – Milano
928 Richards Street – Savoy
188 Keefer Street – 188 Keefer
1133 Hornby Street – Addition
We will continue to add to/maintain this list as new information becomes available. If you are aware of any other strata properties that allow Airbnb or VRBO in Vancouver or would like to notify us about incorrect/out-dated information please don’t hesitate to contact our team.
One of the quieter neighbourhoods in Vancouver, the West End has recently become more popular thanks to its location and access to the city’s natural features. However, without a deeper understanding of the marketplace and the finer details of the buildings in the area, finding your dream home in Vancouver’s West End can be a challenge. We’re breaking down some of the key property insights so that you can call the West End home!
Neighbourhood Features: The West End
Known as the gateway to Stanley Park, the West End combines big city life with the great outdoors. The area encompasses the stunning English Bay Beach, the sea wall, Stanley Park, and other outdoor spaces, whilst bordering on some of the primary nightlife and shopping districts in the city.
Typically, residential property in the West End comprises 70’s and 80’s rental and leasehold buildings, and 80’s timber-framed strata buildings. The majority of listings are apartments, and with the city’s current sensitivity to losing affordable housing options, it is unlikely that these will be redeveloped in the near future. As such, condo owners and strata bodies have been contributing to renovations and facelifts, building new life into buildings that sit on (arguably) some of the best land in Vancouver.
Whilst these properties are unlikely to change significantly, infill projects and other luxury towers are becoming more prevalent. This is creating more options for dining, retail and other amenities, and modernising the area, whilst allowing it to maintain its existing character and laid back demeanour.
With a wide variety of building types, finding your dream home isn’t a matter of where it’s a matter of when. And whilst property is generally more affordable in the West End compared to Yaletown or Coal Harbour, there are a number of considerations that can help you to find the perfect home.
Inside the West End- Past, Present and Future
To give you some insight into the properties of Vancouver’s West End, we’re looking at the current properties available, as well as future plans for the neighbourhood.
The Buildings in Vancouver’s West End
1. A lot of the buildings in the West End are leasehold properties. Leasehold means you own the house/condo/townhouse but not the land that it sits on. Generally, this land has been leased to a developer, who builds on it and leases the property for a stipulated sum of money and amount of years.
Whilst these leases are long term, it can make it more difficult to obtain financing if purchasing a leasehold property. This is because you are purchasing the right to possess the property until the end of the lease, or you sell it to someone else. In the West End, most of the concrete towers are either rental buildings or leasehold, and most of the leasehold buildings have pre-paid leases that come due in 2073.
2. Because of the access to finance (among other things) strata titled properties are much more sought after, and market data indicates that for 2020, properties only spend between 10-15 days on the market before they’re sold. This is important to know, as hesitating on a property you like could mean missing out.
3. If you’re looking to move into one of the Strata wood-frame builds, try to find the buildings that have had renovations or updates already performed. Things like new rain-screens, pipes, windows etc… when this maintenance has been done, it indicates a more sought-after building in better condition.
4. Most of the 1970’s buildings in the West End have shared laundry facilities. Whilst this may not bother some, most residents prefer to have their own internal laundry. The slightly newer buildings (1980s and onward) will typically have in-suite laundries, and may be better suited to your property search. Similarly, buildings that have been re-plumbed since their construction may also allow for a ventless laundry to be installed after purchase.
Where in the West End Should I Live?
When it comes to where in the West End you want to live, there are a few things to note:
5. West of Denman has become its own micro-bubble, know for it’s quiet and laidback community, and one of the most convenient access points to Stanley Park. Denman itself, however, has been going through a facelift, with newer and more modern retail options entering the area.
6. Most people aim to be as close to the water as possible, but really anywhere in the West End makes it a short walk.
7. The City has been supportive of new rental towers within the West End in zones where new strata towers would not be allowed. The benefit is that these towers so far are turning out to be quite well done, and are modernising these zones. One complex in particular has resulting in a brand new Safeway grocery store, and other commercial developments could lead to increased amenities in the area. Being aware of new developments in the area may help you choose where in the West End you would like to live.
The Future of The West End
8. New, luxury and ultra-luxury towers are already being built along Davie, Thurlow, Burrard and Alberni. These areas have been designated for high rise, so expect other residential and commercial developments along these streets in the years to come.
9. Various infill projects are resulting in brand new boutique strata developments that are offering some unique new homes. However, parking can be difficult to come by with some of these homes given that they are sometimes too small or too constrained in some way to build an underground parkade. As infill projects, they also tend to add congestion to an area, and this may be a consideration for your property hunt.
10. Alberni will become Vancouver’s most architecturally interesting street – with stunning ultra-luxury towers underway. Prices within these towers are among the city’s most expensive at over $2,000/sqft. For more information about these developments, and the possibility of a pre-sale, please get in touch with us.
At the West Haven group, our dedicated team is on the ground to help you find your dream property. If you would like to see what’s available in your favourite area, or need help selling your property, we’re here to help.
It has come as a shock to many across B.C., but the recent price hikes in strata insurance premiums in Vancouver is rapidly making insurance unaffordable. With monthly rates more than doubling, and deductibles increasing by more than 300% in some cases, budgets that are already stretched thin are taking a hit. Understanding why strata premiums in Vancouver are increasing is the first step in making informed decisions for yourself and your fellow condo owners, to make sure you stay covered.
Why Are Vancouver’s Strata Insurance Premiums on the Rise?
Although these rate rises are being seen across the province, they are particularly worrisome in Vancouver where more than half of its residents live in strata-titled properties.
There are a number of reported reasons for their increase:
Strata insurance valuations are based on recent appraisals. Owing to the increase in costs for construction, and the increase in property values over the past few years, the value of a building, and the cost to repair, have also dramatically increased. The cost of construction/repair in Vancouver has risen 7-15% in the last 12 months.
Owing to the fact that strata insurance policies cover commercial-grade systems, such as your plumbing, boilers, heating, etc… strata buildings are insured with a commercial property insurance policy. These policies are generally more expensive, and also subject to fluctuations in construction and materials cost increases.
Insurance companies need to maintain a ‘float’ to meet future claims and needs. The increases in property prices over the past few years, and the aging of buildings across Vancouver, has led to more claims, and at higher valuations.
The local market is affected by global events. In order to keep strata insurance premiums in Vancouver lower, many insurers need to take out their own insurance. As these larger-scale insurance companies are now affected by global weather events such as fires, floods, and hurricanes, their costs are also increasing.Unfortunately, these costs are not only passed down to you- the strata owner- but they are also seeing the viability and liquidity of smaller insurers drying up. This leads to less competition within the market, as larger, national insurers become the only option for large scale insurance policies.
What Does This Mean for Your Strata Insurance Premiums?
In most cases, it means that your strata insurance premiums are going to be increased whenever the policy is due for renewal. It also means that if the deductible on the insurance premium increases dramatically, say to $100k, any damage under that value will have to be paid by the condo owners. Whereas traditionally the policy would cover these liabilities, or at least cover them with a lower owner contribution, as well.
Now, it is more likely that if your condo is damaged in some way, and it is localized (that is- it only affects you), you are now more likely to have to pay for repairs yourself. If that damage happens to also affect the common areas, you may also be liable to the whole repair amount, depending on the policy.
With this in mind, it is now more important than ever to take out your own condo homeowner insurance policy in Vancouver. This policy should cover your liability in the event of damage to your condo, as well as (at the least) the cost of the deductible of the strata policy, should you be found to be at fault in a claim.
I’m Looking at Buying a Condo in Vancouver- Should I Be Worried?
If you’re looking at entering the condo property market in Vancouver, or simply looking to move, there are a few things to consider when forming your budget. First and foremost, it is unlikely that these insurance premiums will see a reduction any time soon. Although the provincial government has confirmed they will review current legislation, it is unlikely these premiums will be reduced again, now or in the future.
Second, when looking for a condo, you need to take into account those things that typically affect strata insurance premiums in Vancouver. Questions like:
The age of the building, and likelihood that it will need repairs
Does the building have an active and regular maintenance program?
Is the building’s structural integrity intact?
Is there a depreciation report and does the building meet regulatory requirements?
Are the strata by-laws up to date, and have the tenants/owners been made aware of these changes?
Is there a history of claims, that are likely to see premiums increase?
Have the premiums been underpriced in the past, and is it likely the insurer will look to recover those costs, now that the property market has cooled a bit?
Just because strata insurance premiums in Vancouver are on the rise, doesn’t mean you should be scared out of the market. At the West Haven Group, we work for you. As industry experts, we can help you to navigate these changes and establish a budget and plan based on your circumstances. If you want more information, or need help find the home of your dreams without worrying about the future reach out and connect!