Steep strata fines loom for defiant Airbnb hosts
Short-term renters can soon be charged up to $1,000 a day for breaking bylaws
Homeowners groups in British Columbia will soon be able to fine owners or residents up to $1,000 a day for defying the corporation’s bylaws on short-term rentals.
The B.C. government says that the regulations for strata corporations will be changed as of Nov. 30 to help the homeowners associations prevent short-term rentals, such as those arranged through Airbnb and other vacation websites.
Housing Minister Selina Robinson says in a news release that it’s common to hear stories of longterm renters losing their homes when units are pulled out of the market to be used as short-term rentals.
Robinson says her government is supporting strata corporations to deal with the noise and security issues that can sometimes come with short-term rentals, and to also preserve rentals for the long term.
Strata corporations can pass bylaws that restrict or ban shortterm rentals and fine owners or residents who aren’t complying, but the maximum fine is currently $200 a week.
Nearly 1.5 million people in B.C. live in strata housing, where the governing corporation is made up of the owners in the housing complex.
“Short-term rentals are a huge concern to strata corporations,” says Sandy Wagner, president of the board of directors of the Vancouver Island Strata Owners Association, in the news release.
“The wear and tear on the common property, as well as the security concerns caused by a steady stream of unknown occupants are just a few of the reasons why (the association), on behalf of our members, is pleased to support the proposed amendments … which will permit strata corporations to assess fines at a real deterrent level.”
Airbnb did not immediately respond to a request for comment.