BC is currently grappling with a severe housing crisis, characterized by a shortage of attainable housing, including long-term rentals. According to the government, the rise of short-term rental platforms, such as Airbnb and VRBO, has contributed to this crisis by reducing the availability of much-needed homes for British Columbians. To address these challenges, new regulations have been proposed.
The proposed rules apply to all short-term rentals offered to the public, including:
However, the rules do not apply to reserve lands, Treaty Lands of a Treaty First Nation (unless opted in), hotels, motels, and other exempt accommodation providers.
Increased fines and tickets: Maximum fines will increase from $2,000 to $50,000.
New business licensing authority for regional districts: Regional districts will now be able to regulate short term rentals, as municipalities can.
Display of business license: Hosts in areas requiring a business license will need to display a valid business license number on their listings.
Platform accountability: Short-term rental platforms are responsible for ensuring that listings include a valid business license where required by the local government.
Data sharing: Short-term rental platforms will now be required to share certain data with local governments.
Principal residence requirement: Short term rentals will now be limited to (a) the host’s principal residence, (b) plus one secondary or accessory dwelling unit.
This will apply to every municipality over 10,000 population with few exemptions (such as resort communities like Tofino).
Changes to legal non-conforming use protections: Legal non-conforming use protections will no longer apply. This includes condo buildings downtown Victoria that previously were grandfathered into allow Transient Zoning (short term rentals) meaning this will no longer be allowed.
Short-term registry: The province will establish a short-term rental registry and hosts will be required to list their registration number on their listing.
Provincial compliance and enforcement unit: This unit will track compliance, issue orders, and administer penalties for violations
If you currently own an AirBnB or Short Term Rental you may be affected by these propsed changes. There are some options for managing your rental and getting your ducks in a row before the May 1, 2024 principal residence requirement.
I’m always available to discuss a strategy before the government implements these new rules! Reach out to have a conversation and gain valuable market insight into long term rental prices as well as comparable sale values.
More information can be found on the Government of BC’s website here: www2.gov.bc.ca//short-term-rentals