Saying that everyone has heard the stories of renters losing their homes “when units are pulled out of the rental market to be used as short-term rentals,” BC’s housing minister Selina Robinson announced today that the provincial government is moving to crack down on short-term condo rentals and bylaws within strata units.
The government said the move is meant to help strata corporations address issues that can arise from short-term rentals, while keeping long-term rentals on the market.
Currently, strata corporations can pass bylaws that restrict or ban short-term rentals, and fine owners or residents who are not complying. Maximum fines of $200 per week will be raised to up to $1,000 a day, to discourage unwanted short-term rental activity.
“We are supporting strata corporations to both deal with the noise and security issues that can sometimes come with short-term rentals, and also preserve rentals for the long term,” said Robinson. “With this change, we can ensure there is long-term rental stock for people and families who need them.”
The move was applauded by Tony Giovent, executive director of the Condominium Home Owners Association of BC.
“The new regulations will help define short-term commercial use as a different function than rentals, and provides some very real consequences for the violators,” said Giovent. “For those strata corporations who prohibit short-term use, this is a valuable amendment.”
The amendment, he furthered, “will require strata corporations to amend their bylaws at a general meeting to permit the higher penalties, which in turn will provide the strata with a great opportunity to make sure the strata’s bylaw complies with provincial legislation.”
The government said the new regulation was developed in consultation with representatives from the two major strata stakeholder associations, the Condominium Home Owners Association of BC and the Vancouver Island Strata Owners Association (VISOA).
The change is set to take effect on November 30 of this year, a time period that the government said gives short-term rental hosts time to adjust bookings and comply with a strata’s short-term rental bylaws.