Vancouver investor buying up properties to run illegal Airbnb hotels

By ThinkPol Staff

A Vancouver-based real estate investor is buying up properties in the city and turning them into illegal Airbnb hotels, even as the city grapples with a worsening housing crisis.

An internet detective uncovered how the woman, who moved to Canada from Taiwan according to her social media profile, has bought up at least four properties in the last three years and listed them on the popular short term rental platform[1]https://www.airbnb.ca/s/homes?host_id=96465703.

In one instance, the investor listed a property on the 1700 block of West 62nd Avenue, which she bought in May 2017 for $4.93million [2]https://www.bcassessment.ca/Property/Info/QTAwMDAwMUNaTA==, without even bothering to take the SOLD label on the photos[3]https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/23211200?s=urICPuSQ.

The internet detective, who wishes to maintain a low profile, identified three of the investor’s other listings as being houses she bought in the last three years.

The findings, which ThinkPol corroborated with the help of Land Titles and Survey Authority data, were first brought to our attention by Vancouver’s popular Airbnb fighting twitter account VISTRO[4]https://twitter.com/VISTRO11.

“Speculators domestic and foreign are buying up homes that Canadians families could live in and turning them into Airbnb units,” VISTRO told ThinkPol. “Local families are forced to move further and further away from where they work, and ultimately, forced to live in vans and tents while Airbnb and Airbnb hosts rake in exorbitant profits.”

“The question we Vancouverites need to ask ourselves is simple,” VISTRO added. “Do you want a Vancouver where you children thrive? Or do you want our city to be a resort of the rich where you sons and daughters would need to trade sexual favours to put a roof over their heads?”

VISTRO blames the City of Vancouver for the state of affairs, but feels confident that Vancouverites are rising up against the Cupertino company.

“The City of Vancouver has failed us big time and we can no longer rely on them to protect us from this menace,” VISTRO added. “But the Occupy Airbnb movement that’s gaining momentum shows that we Vancouverites are ready and willing to fight for our children’s future by taking back our homes from these parasites.”

A bylaw passed by the Vancouver City Council to regulate short term rentals come into force on April 1, but Vancouverites are wary of being let down by the City once again[5]http://vancouver.ca/doing-business/short-term-rentals.aspx.

“Whether the bylaws succeed will depend on enforcement,” Alec Smecher, a Vancouver father to a young daughter said. “I’m currently under-housed and keep a close eye on rentals in my neighbourhood, where there are more full-time AirBnB suites available than there are long-term rentals.”

“I’ll be satisfied with the bylaws if the city plans to enforce them. We know they chose not to enforce them before,” Smecher added. “This is the city’s opportunity to uphold its end of the social contract — and mean it, not just for the sake of the upcoming election.”

References   [ + ]

1. https://www.airbnb.ca/s/homes?host_id=96465703
2. https://www.bcassessment.ca/Property/Info/QTAwMDAwMUNaTA==
3. https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/23211200?s=urICPuSQ
4. https://twitter.com/VISTRO11
5. http://vancouver.ca/doing-business/short-term-rentals.aspx

4 Responses to Vancouver investor buying up properties to run illegal Airbnb hotels

  1. nonconfidencevote says:

    This will continue to happen until someone dies in an AirBNB rental fire.
    Then the regulatory authorities wil be forced to take notice.
    Lots of hand wringing, lots of buzzwords from the politicians and the media spokespersons. ” We’re acting quickly to implement changes”

    When they already have the necessary rules in place to deal with unregulated hotels.
    Same old same old

    Kind of like when a child is killed at an uncontrolled crosswalk that has had multiple car/ pedestrian collisions…..
    Eventually the city puts up warning lights.

    But it doesnt change the fact that someone has to die first……

  2. The 7 says:

    Nothing illegal about Airbnb’s. Nothing illegal about foreigners buying properties in BC. if we dont address the real problem, which is speculation and money laundering, nothing will change.

    • Alec Smecher says:

      “Nothing illegal about Airbnb’s”: Wrong. In Vancouver they’re currently illegal, and as of April, a fraction of those will become legal if hosts buy a permit and meet certain requirements.

      http://vancouver.ca/doing-business/short-term-rentals.aspx

    • nonconfidencevote says:

      Well.
      You may be right.
      But, make sure you state to your insurance company you’re running an AirBnB….cuase if anything untoward happens…….ooooo baby.
      Watch how fast your insurance is denied.
      Then YOU, the AirBnb entrepreneur are on the hook for any and all liabilities.
      Renter slips on your stairs…..You’re at fault.
      Renter wrecks your place….not covered.
      Renter OD’s. Good luck with the cops.
      Renter has a party and trashes your hacienda. Oh well.

      Yep. Go for it.
      Let total strangers stay at your place.
      Bedbugs?
      Call an exterminator.
      Personally, I like sleeping in a bed I know that only I farted in.
      But to each his own I suppose

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