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‘Dangerous precedent’: Victoria Airbnb operators rally to fight new rules

Property Rights BC says its data indicates new regulations will do more harm than good
Airbnb and other vacation-rental sites are fighting new rules. (Tribune News Service)

People who own short-term rental units in Victoria for such platforms as Airbnb are rallying to fight new legislation that restricts how they use their properties.

“We are a group of hardworking individuals, most of whom invested in a single short-term rental unit, in many cases as part of pension planning,” said a news release from the group, Property Rights BC.

“We support the intention to eliminate illegal Airbnb units, which the BC Short Term Accommodations Act (Bill 35) passed by the BC NDP in October attempts to address. We also support real solutions for affordable housing … We believe that preserving our legally operating and licensed short-term accommodations will actually be a solution to a number of problems in Victoria.”

The group says it has data that illustrates that legislation does more harm than good, including a loss of funding for affordable housing projects which the Airbnb tax has been funding across British Columbia, a loss of direct tourism revenue, and a loss of tourism spending at local businesses, which will “be a blow to local owners still recovering from COVID closures. Shuttering businesses in our downtown core will exacerbate the already declining nature of some of our public spaces.”

“This legislation sets a dangerous precedent, eroding trust in the regulatory framework,” said the news release. “This abrupt shift undermines the financial security of countless property owners.”

RELATED: Victoria council reverses planned fee hike on short-term rental operators

Chris Campbell

About the Author: Chris Campbell

I joined the Victoria News hub as an editor in 2023, bringing with me over 30 years of experience from community newspapers in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley
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