Smooth Sailing: Transitioning from Airbnb to Long-Term Residential Tenancies

When faced with the provincial legislation coming into effect May of 2024 that restricts Airbnb and similar short-term vacation/travel accommodations, many property owners are considering their options. Aside from selling, the only other viable option for most owners is to rent their property as a long-term residential tenancy. If you’re new to being a landlord and unsure how to start, we’re here to help you explore how easy it is to make this transition, and we’ll emphasize the benefits and considerations that come with managing long-term rental properties.

Fundamentally, running a short-term vacation rental comes with a constant influx of guests. This certainly can be financially rewarding but it also comes with a significant workload to approve guests, keep listings current, and prepare the unit. Conversely, long-term residential tenancies generally require less work once a tenancy is established.

The skills an operator of short-term vacation/travel accommodation acquires —including effective communication, problem solving, and property maintenance —seamlessly transfer to the long-term rental realm. Hosts can leverage their existing expertise to create a smooth and efficient transition process.

In long-term residential tenancies, much of the work occurs when selecting and placing the right tenant, with significantly less work throughout the tenure of the tenancy, which generally lasts a minimum of one year. This gives property owners more time to better plan for larger projects such as property improvements.

While the financial landscape of long-term rentals may differ from short-term hosting, hosts can benefit from consistent, reliable income. The stability of long-term leases provides hosts with a dependable cash flow, facilitating better financial planning and reducing the impact of seasonal fluctuations that are often associated with short-term rentals.

Additionally, long-term residential tenancies often result in reduced operational stress for landlords. As the duration of tenancies is significantly longer and turnovers are less frequent there is less time spent on marketing, communication with prospective guests, and property cleaning. And while it is not a completely automated venture, landlords can enjoy a more hands-off approach to property management when it comes to the day-to-day operations and maintenance.

Choosing to transition from short-term vacation/travel accommodations to long-term residential tenancies can provide property owners with a significantly more stable and predictable rental income. With few to no barriers preventing this transition, it is easy to see why so many property owners in British Columbia choose to rent their property as residential tenancies. While both options have their benefits, only one offers long-term stability and regulatory protection.

Embarking on the journey of renting out your property can be both exciting and daunting, but with the right preparation and resources, you can set the stage for a successful and rewarding experience. Here are five essential steps to consider when preparing your property for long-term tenants:

  1. Figure out the type of rental you would like to offer (for example: furnished or non-furnished) and prepare your property for long-term tenants.
  2. Enroll in the free I Rent It Right™ course offered by LandlordBC.
  3. Conduct market research and set your rental price.
  4. Determine where to list your vacancy.
  5. Contact LandlordBC to learn more about our membership.