Vancouver investigates Kitsilano apartment block with 17 Airbnb units

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As reported by Vancouver Sun, there are 17 Airbnb listings in the New York Apartments at 2341 York Ave. near Kitsilano Beach. The two-storey building has 29 units total and is zoned as a medium-density residential development.  Units are listed at between $60 and $169 per night. Tenants of the New York’s sleeping rooms – SROs averaging 110 square feet – share four parking stalls and common washrooms, showers and baths. The building also has a penthouse and several one- and two-bedroom units.

In Vancouver, all rental tenancies must be at least 30 days except in hotels and licensed bed and breakfasts, but the vast majority of Airbnb hosts violate this regulation. In online reviews, many users say they stayed at the New York for just a few days.

The building was sold last July for $3.8 million to Nevin Sangha of Carrera Management Corp. The firm manages 300 conventional rental units in the Lower Mainland,the New York is the only Carrera property using Airbnb.The reason for the Airbnb units, he said, is because his staff has struggled to rent out the New York’s SRO units using traditional methods such as Craigslist.

“They’re SROs so they’re pretty hard to rent out the way they are,” said Sangha, adding, they’re “not what the market’s looking for so the Airbnb seems to make more sense for them.”

Sangha said the firm spent close to $1 million restoring the New York after “much-deferred maintenance” left some units uninhabitable.

He’s working with an architect to prepare an application to convert some of the SROs into conventional rental units and his firm hopes to attract potential long-term tenants such as students, he said.

Sangha said he understands there are critics of Airbnb but said many of the units get 30-days stays. He said city staff visited the building three times and took no issue with the short-term rentals.
“It’s a lot of work, and it’s in our best interest to go with the longer-term tenants,” he said. “We don’t make any real returns on the short-term tenants because there’s a lot of labour.”

The city said it received a complaint through its 3-1-1 phone line about alleged multiple short-term rental units at the New York. It is investigating the rental use.

Do you have Airbnb rentals in your building? Do you rent your space on Airbnb? Why or why not?

Last modified: July 8, 2016

3 Responses to " Vancouver investigates Kitsilano apartment block with 17 Airbnb units "

  1. diane says:

    If you are renting an aptartmeny , your not allowed to sublet it to Airbnb, although it would be great to be able to

  2. Ralph says:

    Jeez, this place has been a hotel for decades. It’s sign was above the entrance back in the 1950s and it said “New York Apartment Hotel”.

  3. Damian Chapman says:

    There are no shortages of ‘renters’ subletting their homes regularly. I live in a 4 floor house with 3 three bedroom suites and 1 studio. All units other than ours is subletted regularly, with different people constantly flowing in and out of this house. There are a total of 6 homes out of a total of 14 on our block alone that have Air B&B units available.

    This issue is on a much grander scale because I work periodically as a ‘Air B&B concierge to go’
    for other legitimate dwellings & its obvious that there are many taking full advantage of said opportunities. Case in point is I met with a potential new client, who had what I was led to believe only one unit in their building. I soon learned that the couple has their own unit, plus 4 others within the building. On principle alone, I turned down the gig. Personally I think this couple is running their own private hotel minus the licensing & permits & safety codes.