Vancouver Sun

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.

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