The B.C. government has introduced legislation that restricts short-term accommodation rentals in the province.
The bill, which passed first reading Monday, enables municipalities to regulate STRs offered by companies like Airbnb, VRBO and Expedia.
Under the new rules to be phased in during 2024, violators’ fines will increase to $3,000 from $1,000 per infraction per day. Among other new legal obligations, online STR platform operators will be required to provide listings data to the province to help enforce compliance and support tax auditing.
Ravi Kahlon, the province’s housing minister, told reporters the new rules are necessary because research and ministry data show that STRs are diverting long-term rental-housing supply on to the short-term market.
Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim and his Kelowna and Victoria counterparts supported the bill in a news release. So did David Wachsmuth, a McGill University urban governance professor whose research found that STRs removed 16,810 housing units off the long-term rental market between mid-year 2022 and mid-year 2023.
Monte Stewart serves as Content Director - Canada for Connect Commercial Real Estate.
Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Monte provides daily news coverage of major Canadian commercial real estate markets, including Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. He has written about the real estate sector for various media outlets and Avison Young since the early 2000s.
In addition, he has covered sports, general news and business for several leading wire services and publications, including The Canadian Press, The Associated Press, The Calgary Herald, The Globe and Mail, Research Money, The Daily Oil Bulletin, Natural Gas World and The Toronto Star.
Monte is active in his community as a youth basketball coach and raises funds for such charitable causes as Movember.