Last week, the Government of BC released additional information to guide hosts, platforms, and visitors through the changes related to new rules for short-term rentals that come into effect on May 1, 2024.

As outlined in the recent news release, the new rules include:

  • The Principal Residence Requirement, meaning 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 where populations are greater than 10,000 people.
  • The Principal Residence Requirement will function as a provincewide floor for communities with populations of more than 10,000 people, but local governments will still be able to use existing bylaws and introduce additional bylaws that are more restrictive.
  • The Principal Residence Requirement will come into effect in more than 60 communities throughout B.C. 
  • 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. 
  • 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 non-conforming use. 
  • Short-term rental hosts will be required to display a valid business licence number on their listing, where a business licence is required by a local government.
  • Short-term rental platforms will be required to share data with the Province.
  • Local governments can request that a platform remove listings that do not display a valid business licence.

Visitors staying at short-term rentals after May 1, 2024, are encouraged to check with the host to ensure they comply with their local government regulations and with B.C.’s new short-term rental rules that come into effect. Guests will not be fined for staying in a short-term rental that does not comply with the rules. The responsibility to comply with new short-term rental regulations is on the host and the short-term platform. Visitors can find FAQs and additional information here

Action to turn more short-term rentals into long-term homes is part of the Province’s Homes for People action plan.  Announced in spring 2023, the plan builds on historic action to deliver housing since 2017 and sets out further actions to deliver the homes people need faster, while creating more vibrant communities throughout B.C.

Additional information regarding the new rules is available on the Government of BC website. Further details regarding the exemptions for strata hotels and motels are available in the Government of BC's recently released press release

Information from the City of Kelowna regarding short-term rentals can be found here

The content above was sourced from recent Government of BC news releases.