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B.C. housing minister tells people not to help ‘desperate scammers’ with Airbnb fraud

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s minister of housing is warning people not to take part in short-term rental scams as the province moves to limit the hotel alternatives to increase housing stock.

Ravi Kahlon shared a screenshot showing a Vancouver-based short-term rental management company offering people $500 to change the address on their driver’s licence to match an address it selects, then apply for an Airbnb approval.

That’s to get around new rules coming next year that would allow people to offer short-term accommodation only if it’s at their principal residence, but Kahlon says it amounts to fraud.

Kahlon warns people on the social media platform X, formally known as Twitter, not assist the “desperate scammers.”

The post from the management company has since been removed and the company’s website cannot be viewed.

The government last month introduced legislation to limit short-term rentals in many cities in B.C. in an effort to put thousands of units back into the long-term rental pool, with the changes coming into effect in May.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 13, 2023.

The Canadian Press