B.C. RCMP warn short-term rental hosts to watch out for gang activity

Prince George RCMP are urging would-be short-term-rental hosts to be on the lookout for gang activity. File / Global News

RCMP in Prince George, B.C., are warning would-be short-term rental operators to watch out for gang activity.

Mounties said they have recorded several instances in recent months in which hosts have discovered their guests were involved in criminal gang activity.

“It becomes difficult for the landlord to evict these types of clients off the property once they are already in the home and either stay past their contract date or are found to be in violation of the rental terms,” RCMP Cpl. Jennifer Cooper said in a Thursday media release.

“The resolution usually requires police involvement at that point.”

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With B.C.’s new short-term rental rules coming into effect this spring, which limit rentals to a host’s principal residences, police say the public should be extra vigilant.

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Hosts are being urged to check whether a potential guest has a history with the rental platform they are using and whether it is positive.

They’re also urging people to search the guest’s name on the internet, as well as in the province’s online court records database.

Hosts are further advised not to accept “large sums of cash” as payment, and to be wary of people wanting to pay for one or more months of rent upfront.

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