There has been lots in the news recently about changes to Short-Term Rental (STR) properties in BC.  British Columbia is grappling with a housing crisis marked by a shortage of accessible housing options, including long-term rentals. The surge in the short-term rental of entire homes is exacerbating the scarcity of housing for residents of the province. Currently, over 16,000 entire homes are utilized as short-term rentals for the majority of the year in B.C., making it increasingly difficult to secure affordable long-term rental accommodations.

The proposed new rules aim to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Empower local governments with stronger tools to enforce short-term rental bylaws.
  2. Redirect short-term rental units back into the long-term rental market.
  3. Establish a new Provincial role in overseeing the regulation of short-term rentals.

The town of Fernie, BC, has had Short-Term Rental (STR) bylaws in place for a while and Fernie retains the option to make changes at any given time.

The mountain resort is presently exempt, while the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK), the surrounding area, adheres to its own set of regulations and permits.

Although, the new government regulations don’t impact our area, there are noteworthy aspects to consider:

  • Communities with a minimum population of 10,000 are affected, with towns like ours having the option to opt-in.
  • Immediate registration with the municipality and provincial registration by May 2024 are mandatory, with penalties for non-compliance. Our communities already insist on licensing properties for STR.
  • The recently introduced Short-Term Rental Accommodations Act grants municipal and provincial governments increased authority to restrict and oversee STRs. Currently our area has it’s own regulations.
  • STRs must be within one’s principal residence; investors with secondary properties, like most properties in Fernie (apart from the resort homes, Riverside, Pinnacle Ridge, Silver Rock and 901 Fernie) cannot utilize them for STRs.
  • The definition of STRs, previously applicable to stays of 30 days or less, has been extended to 90 days or less. Fernie is still 30 days.

If you have further inquiries, feel free to send me a direct message! What are your thoughts on this legislation? Do you agree or disagree? Share your opinions in the comments!

See government regulations HERE!

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