Canada’s government is examining new measures to rein in short-term rental services such as Airbnb Inc. as policymakers try to cool inflation in apartment and house rents.
(Bloomberg) — Canada’s government is examining new measures to rein in short-term rental services such as Airbnb Inc. as policymakers try to cool inflation in apartment and house rents.
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said Tuesday the government is looking at what laws or regulations it can bring in to curb the use of platforms that offer rented accommodation for a few days or weeks at a time. She heaped praise on the province of British Columbia, which this week introduced a proposed law to restrict many residents from renting their investment properties on Airbnb, Flipkey and similar services.
“We know that short-term rentals through sites like Airbnb and VRBO mean fewer homes for Canadians to rent, especially in urban and populated areas of our country,” Freeland said during a press conference in Ottawa. She said she has seen estimates that as many as 30,000 more homes could be made available for rent in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, if those platforms were restricted. “It is so important that we are examining whether there are any tools in federal jurisdiction that we could use that would make a difference in this space.”
Rents rose 7.3% over the past year, Statistics Canada said in its inflation report Tuesday — 8.4% in British Columbia, which includes greater Vancouver, one of the country’s most expensive housing markets.
The British Columbia law won’t apply to certain resort areas or to municipalities with fewer than 10,000 people.
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