Changes to Rules Governing Short-Term Rentals
Today the provincial government announced changes to the legislation governing short-term rentals. The changes are fairly comprehensive and cover the majority of aspects governing short-term rentals. The new regulations are intended to give municipalities and the province more power to regulate short-term rentals across the province. The intended changes are as follows:
Principal Residences Only
• As of May 2024, all short-term rentals in communities with populations 10,000 or over will be limited to principal residences only.
• Designated Resort communities, communities with populations under 10,000 will be exempt from the principal residence rule but can choose to implement if they wish to.
• In the interior of the province the communities included under this principal residence rule will be:
o West Kelowna
o Fort St. John
o Salmon Arm
o Lake Country
o Dawson Creek
• Fines for short-term rentals owner/operators breaking local municipal by-law rules will increase to $3000 per infraction, per day.
• Like municipalities, Regional Districts will be given the power to set the maximum penalty of $50,000 for severe contraventions of by-laws.
Data Sharing and Enforcement
• Short-term rental platforms will be required to share data with municipalities to improve local enforcement.
• It will also be mandatory for platforms to share information with the Province, including information about short-term rental hosts. The Province will have the ability to share this data with municipalities to coordinate regulation.
• Short-term rental platforms will be required to include businesses license and registration numbers on listings when they are required by a municipality.
• Regional Districts will be granted business regulation and licensing powers parallel to those of municipalities. This means Regional Districts will be able to require businesses, including short-term rental businesses, to obtain and maintain a business license to operate.
• The current exemption for short-term rentals operating in municipalities that restrict their use because they were operating prior to the by-law, often referred to as a non-confirming exemption, will be removed.
Provincial Registry and Enforcement Unit
• The province will create a short-term rental registry. Operators will be required to include a valid provincial registration number on their listings.
• Once established operators will have 3 months to register their companies and 6 months to register their units.
• A provincial enforcement unit will be established to issues orders and administer penalties.
Implementation is expected to be phased out throughout this year and 2024. The fines and bylaw powers will come into effect immediately upon royal assent of the bill. The principal residence rule, removing the non-conforming exemption and the requirement to display business licenses will come into May 2024. The provincial registry and data sharing requirements will come into effect summer to late 2024.
You can see the full government press release below.