B.C. announces new rules around short-term rentals to take effect May 1


The B.C. government has announced new short-term rental rules set to take effect on May 1.
Under the new rules, the principal residence requirement means short-term rentals can only be offered in the principal residence of a host, plus one additional unit, secondary suite or laneway home/garden suite on the property in communities with populations greater than 10,000 people.This requirement will be in effect for communities with populations of more than 10,000 people, or more than 60 communities, but the provincial government said local governments will still be able to use existing bylaws and introduce additional bylaws that are more restrictive.“Strata hotels and motels that have been operating in a manner similar to a hotel or motel before Dec. 8, 2023, and that meet select criteria moving forward, will be exempt from the Principal Residence Requirement,” the province stated in a release. Story continues below advertisement

“Non-conforming use of property will no longer apply to short-term rentals. Under previous legal non-conforming use protections, if an existing use of land or a building did not conform to the new bylaw, it would have generally continued with legal nonconforming use.”Short-term rental hosts will need to have a valid business licence number on display where local governments require a licence. A short-term rental could be asked to remove listings that do not display a valid business licence.

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Short-term rental platforms will need to share data with the provincial government.

1:02
Short-term rental debate heats up on Bowen Island

“The effect of short-term rental apps like Airbnb, VRBO and others has been the loss of thousands of long-term rental homes in the midst of a housing crisis, driving up the cost of housing for British Columbians,” Premier David Eby said in a release. ͞ Story continues below advertisement

“That’s why our government has created balanced new rules to crack down on speculators who are effectively operating mini hotels, while also ensuring homeowners can still rent out spaces in their principal residence. As we’ve already seen, these new rules are turning short-term rentals back into homes for people who live and work in our communities.”

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The province said that analysis from short-term rental data analytics company AirDNA from March shows that more than 19,000 entire homes in B.C. are being listed as short-term rentals for the majority of a calendar year.The Provincial Short-Term Rental Compliance Enforcement Unit will be phased in beginning May 1, and will also be able to conduct investigations into alleged non-compliance, which may result in fines and compliance orders.Fines could range from $500 to $5,000.“Visitors with stays booked after May 1, 2024, at short-term rentals are encouraged to check with their host directly to confirm the host is complying with their local government regulations and with B.C.͛s new short-term rental rules,” the province said in a release.

2:25
West Kelowna opts out of short-term rental rules

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