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‘It’s not worth it’: BC MLA warning against scammers looking to skirt upcoming short-term rental rules

B.C.’s housing minister is warning you not to get fooled by “desperate” scammers looking to get around rules that will restrict short-term rentals in B.C.

Ravi Kahlon was referring to a recent Craigslist posting — which has been removed — offering “$500 for a couple hours of your time” for anyone who’ll help a short-term rental company skirt new regulations pertaining to short-term rentals such as Airbnb.

In the posting, Cycer Investments said it would give the cash to anyone willing to go to ICBC and change the address on their driver’s license to a property that the company owns and rents out as an Airbnb. This is to get around bylaw changes coming into effect May 1 which will limit short-term rentals to principal residents of the property only.

Kahlon says potentially breaking the law is not worth the $500 payout.

“Paying someone to change their driver’s licence is on the borderline of fraud, so this is very serious, suggesting to people that they should participate in this type of action,” he said. “You will get caught because the new rules that we’re putting in place will catch this very easily and we don’t want innocent people getting caught up in this kind of thing.”

Kahlon says his ministry will be looking into getting in touch with the company.

He says he’s heard from local governments about many people getting around the existing rules, which will be far more difficult when the new rules come into effect May 1.

CityNews reached out to Cycer Investments but didn’t hear back — and the company’s website appeared to be offline Monday evening.

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