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April 19, 2024, 7:55 am

New Rules Take Effect to Rein in Short-Term Rentals, Deliver More Homes

Ministry of Housing
VICTORIA, BC - New short-term rental rules that will deliver more homes for people are set to come into effect on May 1, 2024, as the Province releases additional information to guide hosts, platforms and visitors through the changes.

“The effect of short-term rental apps like Airbnb, VRBO and others has been the loss of thousands of long-term rental homes in the midst of a housing crisis, driving up the cost of housing for British Columbians,” said Premier David Eby. “That’s why our government has created balanced new rules to crack down on speculators who are effectively operating mini hotels, while also ensuring homeowners can still rent out spaces in their principal residence. As we’ve already seen, these new rules are turning short-term rentals back into homes for people who live and work in our communities.”

The new rules are aimed at reining in the growing short-term rental market that is taking homes off the market. Analysis from short-term rental data analytics company AirDNA, from March 2024, shows that more than 19,000 entire homes in B.C. are being listed as short-term rentals for the majority of a calendar year. Data from a McGill University professor about short-term rentals in B.C. also shows in June 2023 that the top 10% of hosts earn nearly half of all revenue.

“We are in a housing crisis that requires strong action to deliver more housing for the people who live and work in our communities,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “The changes passed last fall to tackle the growing short-term rental challenges are already bringing more long-term homes back onto the market. As the rules for hosts and platforms come into effect, we are taking another strong step to deliver more long-term homes for people in communities throughout B.C.”

The new rules that will take effect May 1, 2024, are:
  • The Principal Residence Requirement, meaning short-term rentals can only be offered in the principal residence of a host, plus one additional unit, secondary suite or laneway home/garden suite on the property in communities where populations are greater than 10,000 people.
  • The Principal Residence Requirement will function as a provincewide floor for communities with populations of more than 10,000 people, but local governments will still be able to use existing bylaws and introduce additional bylaws that are more restrictive.
  • The Principal Residence Requirement will come into effect in more than 60 communities throughout B.C. 
  • Strata hotels and motels that have been operating in a manner similar to a hotel or motel before Dec. 8, 2023, and that meet select criteria moving forward, will be exempt from the Principal Residence Requirement.
  • Non-conforming use of property will no longer apply to short-term rentals. Under previous legal non-conforming use protections, if an existing use of land or a building did not conform to the new bylaw, it would have generally continued with legal non-conforming use. 
  • Short-term rental hosts will be required to display a valid business licence number on their listing, where a business licence is required by a local government.
  • Short-term rental platforms will be required to share data with the Province.
  • Local governments can request that a platform remove listings that do not display a valid business licence.

In addition to the short-term rental rules going into effect, 17 communities initially exempt from the legislation have requested to opt in to the Principal Residence Requirement. For those communities, the new short-term rental rules will take effect on Nov. 1, 2024. A full list is included in Backgrounder 2.

A first-of-its-kind in Canada, the short-term rental data portal has been created to support local governments with monitoring and enforcement of short-term rental regulations and will allow local governments to have the platform companies remove listings that do not comply.

The Provincial Short-Term Rental Compliance Enforcement Unit, which will be phased in beginning May 1, will also be able to conduct investigations into alleged non-compliance, which may result in administrative monetary penalties and compliance orders. Administrative penalties for hosts breaking the rules can range from $500 to $5,000 a day per infraction, and up to $10,000 per day for corporations, depending on the infraction. Visitors and guests will not face any fines. The unit will also facilitate data sharing and requests to platforms to remove listings.

Visitors with stays booked after May 1, 2024, at short-term rentals are encouraged to check with their host directly to confirm the host is complying with their local government regulations and with B.C.’s new short-term rental rules.

Full requirements for hosts and platforms to comply with the new rules have also been released and are available in Backgrounder 1 and here:

Turning more short-term rentals into long-term homes is part of the Province’s Homes for People action plan. Announced in spring 2023, it sets out further actions to deliver the homes people need faster, while creating more vibrant communities throughout B.C.


Walt Judas, CEO, Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia (TIABC) –
“TIABC applauds the government for listening to the tourism sector and introducing regulations that will address housing shortages in visitor-dependent communities and give municipalities the tools they need to manage short-term rentals. From our perspective, the Province has found the right balance to provide more permanent homes for workers in tourism and other sectors, while also ensuring a range of accommodation options for visitors."

Ken Sim, Mayor of Vancouver –
“These short-term rental rules are vital in tackling the housing crisis not just in Vancouver, but across British Columbia. We’re eager to implement these new tools and collaborate with platforms to ensure short-term rentals in Vancouver align with these regulations. These measures lay the groundwork for a more sustainable and equitable housing landscape where Vancouver residents can thrive.” 

Learn More:
To learn more about the rules that take effect May 1, 2024, visit:
To learn more about government’s Homes for People action plan, visit:
To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit:

Two backgrounders follow.  


What visitors, hosts, platforms and local governments need to know ahead of May 1, 2024

As of May 1, 2024, there are new rules for short-term rental hosts and platforms in B.C. This information is relevant if you:
  • have a short-term rental booked in B.C. after May 1, 2024
  • are a host operating a short-term rental in B.C. after May 1, 2024
  • are a short-term rental platform booking short-term rentals in B.C. after May 1, 2024
  • are a local government official enacting provincial regulations in B.C. after May 1, 2024

Visitors travelling to B.C. staying in a short-term rental

Visitors will continue to be welcomed in British Columbia and will still be able to stay in short-term rental accommodations that operate within local and provincial rules, along with hotels and motels and other accommodation not covered by the new short-term rental rules.

Visitors staying at short-term rentals after May 1, 2024, are encouraged to check with the host to ensure they comply with their local government regulations and with B.C.’s new short-term rental rules that come into effect.

Guests will not be fined for staying in a short-term rental that does not comply with the rules. The responsibility to comply with new short-term rental regulations is on the host and the short-term platform. A full list of communities and an interactive map of where the Principal Residence requirement applies can be found here:

For more information for visitors staying at a short-term rental, visit:

Hosts operating short-term rentals

Short-term rental hosts will be required to ensure they are complying with local government regulations and provincial regulations by:
  • obtaining and displaying their local business licence number on each listing, where required by the local government. Hosts should contact their local government ahead of May 1, 2024, if they are unsure if it is required in their municipality.
  • discontinuing use of properties as short-term rentals that are not compliant with local government short-term rental bylaws and provincial legislation.

To find out if a community is subject to the Principal Residence requirement, visit:

Short-term rental platforms operating in B.C.

Short-term rental platforms (which may include, for example, Airbnb, VRBO, Expedia, FlipKey), will be required to comply with provincial regulations as follows:
  • adding a field for hosts to display their local government business licence number on short-term rental listings beginning May 1, 2024.
  • providing the Province with the name and contact information of an individual that will represent the platform in B.C. by May 15, 2024.
  • sharing data with the Province on a monthly basis, beginning with May data by June 17, 2024.
  • removing listings at the request of a local government in instances where hosts are not in compliance with a business licence requirement, beginning May 1, 2024
  • removing listings at the request of the Province that do not comply with the provincial principal residence requirement

To find additional information about the new requirements, short-term rental platforms can visit:

Local governments with short-term rental business licensing

Local government officials in communities with existing short-term rental bylaws must be aware of provincial regulations and notify members of their community who are operating short-term rentals by:
  • asking short-term rental hosts to obtain and display a valid business licence on their listings by May 1, 2024, in communities where applicable.
  • sending a notice of non-compliance with a business licence requirement to both hosts and platforms prior to requesting the platform remove a listing.
  • Uploading to the data portal information about non-compliant short-term rental listings

Local governments without short-term rental business licensing

Local governments without short-term rental business licensing will be able to use a web reporting form to notify the Province of properties they believe are not compliant with the principal-residence requirement.

Communities that have chosen to opt in, out of short-term rental rules

Municipalities with fewer than 10,000 people, regional districts and resort municipalities are exempt from the principal residence requirement but may request to opt-in by March 31 of each year, starting in 2024, to take effect Nov. 1 of the same year.  

To date, 17 communities have made the decision to opt-in to the Principal Residence Requirement, to preserve long-term rental options for people living and working in their communities, starting Nov. 1, 2024.

The communities that have requested to opt in include:
  • District of Kent
  • District of Tofino
  • Gabriola Island
  • Municipality of Bowen Island
  • Town of Osoyoos
  • Village of Pemberton
  • Electoral Area A (Mill Bay/Malahat)
  • Electoral Area C (Cobble Hill)
  • Electoral Area E (Cowichan Station/Sahtlam/Glenora)
  • Electoral Area F (Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Falls)
  • Electoral Area G (Saltair/Gulf Islands)
  • Electoral Area H (North Oyster/Diamond)
  • Electoral Area D (Skaha East/Okanagan Falls)
  • Electoral Area F (Okanagan Lake West/West Bench)
  • Electoral Area I (Skaha West/Kaleden/Apex)
  • Electoral Area B (Cortes Island)
  • Electoral Area C (Discovery Island – Mainland Inlets)

Certain local governments can annually request by a resolution submitted to the minister of housing to opt out of the principal residence requirement if the community has a rental vacancy rate of 3% or more for two consecutive years.

There are four communities that have made the decision to opt out of the Principal Residence Requirement, meaning that the principal residence rules will not apply on May 1, 2024. Other changes brought into force by the Short-Term Rental Accommodation Act will take effect on May 1, 2024, in the following communities:
  • West Kelowna
  • Fort St. John
  • Dawson Creek
  • Pouce Coupe (a small community adjacent to Dawson Creek)

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