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.
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:
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: https://www.civicinfo.bc.ca/municipalities
STEP 3: Voice your concerns and advocate for 4 key recommendations:
STEP 4: Mobilize your community members.
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. http://www.hotelassociation.ca/taxfairness/