Vancouver regulation agency in search of claimants for money payouts in $500K settlement with Airbnb

Vancouver’s West Level Regulation Group says surprisingly few folks have come ahead to file claims in a $500,000 settlement of two class motion lawsuits in opposition to Airbnb, authorized by the British Columbia Supreme Court docket in February.

The lawsuits have been filed in 2017, each claiming that the plaintiffs’ properties have been listed, rented, or licensed via Airbnb with out consent. As a part of the settlements, Airbnb has not admitted any wrongdoing or legal responsibility.

Potential claimants embody landlords who allegedly had their properties listed on-line with out their information and strata or condominium companies whose frequent areas have been utilized by Airbnb renters. People or companies throughout Canada are eligible to use.

“On the time, the problem of Airbnb leases was within the information so much,” stated Polina H. Furtula, the counsel for the plaintiffs and a lawyer with West Level Regulation Group. “We estimated the category measurement to be at the least a number of hundred.”

In line with Furtula, roughly 20 to 30 folks have stuffed out a declare type and submitted supporting proof to date. She says she’s unsure why the quantity of people that have responded is so low.

“Possibly they suppose that the quantity that they will obtain is simply too small and never price their time, or perhaps they only do not need to hassle,” she stated.

“We determined to increase the deadline and publicize it once more within the hopes that extra folks would come ahead.”

A screenshot of Airbnb leases that shall be out there in Vancouver from Sept. 5-9, 2022. (Airbnb)

Altering occasions

Furtula says issues have modified dramatically because the class actions have been filed, as provinces and municipalities have launched strict bylaws and rules, typically requiring anybody who needs to lease out their property to file for a licence.

Since Sept. 1, 2018, all short-term rental operators in Vancouver should have a enterprise licence and embody their licence quantity in all on-line listings and promoting. They require both strata approval or permission from the owner to lease out a house short-term earlier than making use of for a licence.

“The legislative panorama has modified so much since then,” stated Furtula, including that when Airbnb first appeared available on the market, many folks tried to make the most of property house owners to “attempt to make a fast buck.”

Again when the category actions have been first filed, Furtula remembers a lady who contacted the regulation agency complaining {that a} canine sitter had rented out her condominium whereas she was away.

“These platforms, particularly Airbnb, have actually tried to curb such a behaviour,” Furtula stated. “We get very, only a few calls or emails with respect to issues with short-term leases now.”

CBC reached out to Airbnb requesting an interview or assertion however didn’t hear again.

Anybody who thinks they or their company is eligible for a money fee can fill out a claims type on the Airbnb Class Motion web site and ship supporting proof by mail or e-mail.

West Level Regulation Group says the quantity paid to every claimant will fluctuate relying on how many individuals take part.

The deadline to submit a declare has been prolonged to Sept. 30, 2022.

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