BC's New Short-Term Rentals Act

BC's New Short-Term Rentals Act

Announced the morning of Oct 16, 2023;
The latest housing legislation introduced by the province is aimed specifically at short term housing within the province as municipalities across the BC deal with long term rental shortages causing record increases in monthly rent. 

The Gov't of BC plans to phase-in the legislation over 2 years. You can find the full details at the link below but here are my highlights;

  1. Primary Residents Only: The legislation appears to restrict short-term rentals to primary residents, meaning those who live in the property as their main residence. Secondary suites on the same property may be allowed for short-term rentals.

  2. Fines and Data Sharing: The legislation includes provisions to increase fines for operators of short-term rentals. It also requires platforms such as Airbnb and VRBO to share data with local and provincial government authorities, which can help in monitoring and enforcement.

  3. Host and Platform Registry: The province plans to establish a provincial host and platform registry by late 2024, which is aimed at enhancing accountability in the short-term rental market.

  4. Compliance and Enforcement Unit: A provincial short-term rental compliance and enforcement unit is to be set up. This unit will be responsible for ensuring that the rules and regulations are followed by short-term rental operators.

This announcement comes less than a month after a report out of McGill University commissioned by the BC Hotel Association which stated that, between June 2023 and when the pandemic restrictions lifted in 2022, the removal of homes from long-term rental stock to short-term rental caused a 16.6% increase in baseline rent in major municipalities.

Enforcement is a significant concern, as many cities, including Vancouver, already have bylaws that are stricter than the ones introduced in this Act. Vancouver, for instance, requires short-term rental operators to be primary residents, have a business license, and restricts the rental of secondary suites unless they are the primary residence. However, enforcement has been a challenge in these municipalities and they have been asking the province for assitance.

The BC Hotel Association's report, authored by McGill University Professor Dr. David Wachsmuth, released in September 2023 highlights that a significant portion of short-term rental revenue comes from commercial operators who do not live in the properties they rent out. If the province can effectively enforce the new regulations and penalize violators, homes could return to the long-term rental market, alleviating a bit of the pressure related to long-term rental shortages and rising monthly rents in major municipalities. 

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To learn more about new short-term rental rules in B.C., visit:

Full "The housing impacts of short-term rentals in British Columbia’s regions" report found here:


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