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Vancouver startup involved in city's short-term rental plans

(iStock, Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As the City of Vancouver considers ways to regulate short-term rental properties like the ones found on Airbnb, a local startup is helping them address concerns over safety and security.

CertiStay is fronted by a group of tech sector heavyweights: Travelocity founder and Kayak founding chairman Terry Jones, Yaletown Partners venture capitalist Salil Munjal, and Bit Stew co-founder Alex Clark.

The company has auditors who conduct 60 to 90 minute inspections of short-term properties with an eye for safety and security. If the rental property is granted a “pass”, a certification will show up on its webpage, as well as the CertiStay website.

“One can google all sorts of issues that have taken place from fatalities to falls to drownings, all sorts of issues,” explains chief marketing officer Wolf Worster. “It’s a bit of a checklist to make sure you’re offering the safest rental.”

While the company isn’t planning to launch until January 2018, Worster says they’re already working with the City of Vancouver as it draws up bylaws to legalize short-term rentals.

“There’s this Goliath that Airbnb has created, it’s quite a burden (for municipalities). From taxes to noise issues to safety issues so, we’re here to help.”

A public hearing on Vancouver’s proposed short-term rental regulations is planned for October. If enacted, the rules will go into effect April 2018.