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Legislation to introduce stricter rules on short-term rentals in BC

In response to the growing housing crisis in BC, the province has put forward new legislation hoping to deal with issues in short-term rental units.

The surge of short-term rentals in BC’s housing market has made it difficult for British Columbians to find a good place to call home, says Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon.

“There are 20 per cent more listings today than there were a year ago. The surge is taking rental units off the market and is making finding a good place to call home even more difficult.”

Kahlon says that while many of the listings started out with people sharing a room or renting out a space, there are now an estimated 16,000 homes being taken away from the long-term market.

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“Short-term rentals are a popular way to spend a vacation for my own family,” says Premier David Eby.

“We’ve enjoyed staying in short-term rentals across Canada and in the United States. But, without question, short-term rentals have gotten out of control.”

The legislation that was just tabled in the B.C. Legislature focuses on three key areas: increasing fines and strengthening tools for local government, turning more short-term rentals back into homes, and establishing new provincial rules and an enforcement team.

“We’ll be giving local governments the ability to increase the fines for hosts breaking municipal bylaws from $1,000 to $3,000 per infraction per day,” says Kahlon.

“We’re also making sure people are playing by the rules by making mandatory short-term rental platforms share their listing data for homes.”

Those living in communities with more than 10,000 people will still be able to rent out their home or a basement suite through Airbnb, but they will no longer be allowed to buy multiple properties for short-term rentals.

“Our core focus of this work centres around returning more of these short-term rentals back into places where people can live,” says Kahlon.

Kahlon adds they are establishing a floor across the province for municipalities of 10,000 or more to ensure the same rules are in place across BC.

Additionally, there will be a province-wide registry for all short-term rentals in order to ensure they are compliant, registered, and following local rules.

“These actions will return literally thousands of homes back to the market,” says Eby. “We are taking an all-hands-on-deck, all-of-the-above approach to housing.”

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