BC Short Term Rental Regulations to Address Challenges

short term rental market in bc regulations

BC Short Term Rental Regulations to Address Challenges

The newly introduced Short Term Rental Regulations in BC aim to address the
challenges posed by the rapid expansion of the short-term rental market, particularly in
the context of its impact on the availability of long-term housing. Premier David Eby
emphasizes the need to turn short-term rentals into homes for people, highlighting the
strain on the affordable housing market caused by the surge in short-term rental listings.
The legislation focuses on three key areas:

  1. Increasing fines and strengthening tools for local governments:
    Fines for operators breaking local rules are set to increase, with an
    emphasis on supporting local municipal bylaws.
    Online short-term rental platforms will be required to share data with both
    the Province and local governments, enhancing enforcement capabilities
    and supporting tax auditing.
    Short-term rental platforms must display business license numbers on
    listings used by local governments, ensuring compliance with local rules.
    Regional districts gain the authority to issue business licenses, enhancing
    their ability to regulate short-term rentals in rural areas.
  2. Returning more short-term rentals to long-term homes:
    Short-term rentals in BC will be allowed only in the principal residence of a
    host in municipalities with a population of 10,000 people or more.
    The legislation will remove legal non-conforming use protections for short-
    term rentals, discouraging investors from taking advantage of loopholes.
  3. Establishing provincial rules and enforcement:
    provincial host and platform registry will be established by late 2024 for
    increased accountability.
    A provincial short-term rental compliance and enforcement unit will be
    launched to ensure adherence to the rules.

The phased-in approach includes:

Phase 1 – Increasing fines: Immediate implementation, focusing on higher fines
and improved tools for local governments.

Phase 2 – Releasing short-term rental units to long-term use (May 1, 2024):

  • Enacting the principal residence requirement.
  • Removing legal non-conforming use clause.

Phase 3 – Introducing platform accountability measures (Summer 2024):

  • Requiring short-term rental platforms to include business license numbers
    on listings.
  • Requiring platforms to provide information about listings to the Province
    for enforcement.

Phase 4 – Creating provincial oversight (Late 2024):

  • Establishing a registry for short-term rental hosts.
  • Launching a provincial compliance and enforcement unit.

These changes are part of the broader Homes for People action plan, aiming to address
housing challenges and create vibrant communities. The legislation exempts certain
communities, including resort regions, from the principal residence requirement.
However, it provides flexibility for larger communities with vacancy rates above 3% to
opt-out of the requirement.

In conclusion, these regulations are a comprehensive response to the challenges posed
by the short-term rental market, aligning with the goal of ensuring homes are available
for long-term residents and contributing to the overall stability of the housing market.