Short Term Rentals

Regulatory Framework

The Issue

There has been a proliferation in the short-term rental (STR) market with varying impacts on long-term rental availability in different communities. The rise in popularity of the short-term-rental industry has contributed to a loss of long-term rental housing stock, the rise in rental rates, negative impact of neighbourhoods, property damage and crime, as well as contributing to a housing shortage that directly impacts our industry’s workforce crisis. Many communities, especially resort communities, have been blindsided by this sudden rise in popularity of property sharing platforms like Airbnb and VRBO, and are now witnessing the disappearance of long-term rental housing stock.
Many communities are slowly starting to implement short-term rental regulations and new bylaws. However, changes to bylaws and regulations need enforceability to monitor or enforce the newly instated regulations.

BCHA Position

It is the BCHA’s position to ensure strict STR regulations are maintained in communities where they are already established and to encourage other communities, through various lobbying efforts, to adopt the same regulations in turn.

The BCHA recommends that the following measure are taken:

  • Enforce a Principal Residence Requirement to maintain genuine “homesharing.”
  • Establish a Province-Wide Registry to track and ensure accountability.
  • Maintain Platform Accountability to ensure short-term rental platforms will not advertise any rental that doesn’t have an approved registration number.
  • Implement Real-Time Data Sharing for efficient market monitoring within municipalities.

Where It's Working


On Thursday, October 26th, Bill 35, the Short-Term Rental Accommodations Act, received Royal Assent in the Legislature without amendments. Short Term Rental companies like Airbnb and VRBO have until May 2023 to comply with the new legislation. The BCHA will continue to work with municipalities to ensure that a regulatory framework is implemented. 


In the Federal Government’s Fall Economic Statement, announced in November 2023, it was declared that starting in January 2024, those who are non-compliant with municipal regulations will be unable to claim expenses, such as interest and property taxes, against rental income. In addition, a $50 million fund was established over three years to enable regulators to pursue those who are violating local/provincial laws. The impact of these two policies will be significant, likely resulting in a sizable return of affordable housing stock back to the long-term market – and an increase in occupancy for hotels. The additional long-term rental stock will support the recruitment and retention of the hospitality industry workforce.   


Supported by the efforts of the BCHA, bylaws have been implemented in communities across British Columbia such as Vancouver, Sechelt, Ucluelet, however more stricter regulations are required for maximum impact.  For example, Bylaws to allow and regulate short-term rentals in Kelowna are in effect and anyone operating a short-term rental must apply for and be issued a business license by July 1, 2019. Under the rules, a homeowner or primary resident can legally rent their principal residence for periods of 29 days or less. Select tourist areas will continue to allow short-term rentals outside of an operator’s principal residence. The BCHA will continue to work with other municipalities to implement bylaws that uphold our recommendations.


Are you passionate about responsible home-sharing and the well-being of your community? Join us in making a meaningful difference by taking action today!

STEP 1: Explore our Regulatory Toolkit for insights.

STEP 2: Contact your municipality using this link and set up an in-person meeting: 

STEP 3: Voice your concerns and advocate for 4 key recommendations:

  • Enforce a Principal Residence Requirement.
  • Establish a Province-Wide Registry.
  • Ensure Platform Accountability.
  • Implement Real-Time Data Sharing.

STEP 4Mobilize your community members.


The Issue

The Auditor General of Canada released the 2019 Spring Reports, including a report on Taxation of E-Commerce. According to the report, the Canadian sales tax system did not keep pace with the rapidly evolving digital marketplace, with estimated losses of $169 million in sales tax revenues on foreign digital products and services.
Digital platforms like Netflix, Airbnb, and Uber operate in Canada earning millions of dollars from Canadian consumers without any contributions to the federal treasury. Commercial operators, those renting multiple units or entire homes on platforms like Airbnb, operate like hotels without the same responsibilities to taxation, such as hotels do. All digital platforms need to comply with Canadian tax laws if they operate in Canada even without a substantial physical presence in the country.
On October 1, 2018, the provincial government reached a taxation agreement with Airbnb, requiring the company to collect 8% provincial sales tax (PST) and up-to-3% municipal and regional district tax (MRDT) on short-term accommodations provided in British Columbia through its platform.


The BCHA is calling on the federal government to modernize its tax laws and take action to address tax avoidance in the digital economy and ensure all corporations that operate in Canada through a digital presence pay corporate income tax on Canadian earnings. This Fair Tax was achieved as of July 1, 2022, implementation at the federal level will begin. Provincially, all STR OTA platforms need to be added to the provincial MRDT and PST collection to support affordable housing.

The BCHA recommends amending the Excise Tax Act to:
  1. Require short-term rental platform companies operating in Canada to charge GST/HST to hosts and guests on all fees, and
  2. Eliminate the use of the small-supplier threshold for short-term rental accommodations.
  3. Illuminate ghost hotels and large commercial STR operators posing as small businesses, commercial tax, insurance and policy must be developed.

The Federal Government should amend the Income Tax Act to require short-term rental platform companies to issue an annual information slip on gross earnings to hosts and implement an information and enforcement program through the Canada Revenue Agency to encourage voluntary compliance for the short-term rental industry.

The BCHA will continue to work with the Hotel Association of Canada on lobbying efforts to change the taxation laws in Canada.

The BCHA will also work with the provincial government to ensure that, like Airbnb, VRBO and Home and Away are also subject to the same PST and MRDT requirements, and that these corporations also remit PST and MRDT.