April 15, 2024

Provincial Changes to Short-Term Vacation Rentals

The Town of Qualicum Beach’s current Short-Term Vacation Rental (STVR) regulations will stay in effect, supporting only licensed Bed and Breakfasts in residential zones, after a Council decision this week that explored the new Bill 35 - Provincial Short-Term Rental Accommodation Act (The Act).

As part of the Province of BC’s recent housing regulation changes, under Bill 35, property owners will no longer be permitted to operate a STVR unless the accommodation is on, or in, the host's primary residence. This “Principal Residence Requirement” will come into effect May 1, 2024, and restricts operation to primary residences, or in a secondary suite or accessory dwelling (laneway home, garden home etc.) on the principal residence.

Council reviewed the new regulations to explore the impacts on the Town’s current STVR bylaw at their April 10, 2024, Regular Council meeting. Rather than introducing STVRs as a reaction to the provincial legislation, Council opted to take time to fully consider short-term vacation rentals in 2027 as originally planned.

Only residents operating as a Bed and Breakfast will be able to operate an STVR in Qualicum Beach, adhering to the current bylaws and licensing. No changes will be required for existing licensed Bed and Breakfasts.

All STVRs operating outside of the Province and Town’s regulations will be required to come into compliance with both provincial legislation and applicable Town bylaws and policies. The legislation establishes a new provincial role in regulating STVR while providing local governments with stronger enforcement tools, including ticketing per infraction, per day.

The Act applies across BC in municipalities with a population of 10,000 and over, as well as smaller neighbouring communities. Because of the Town’s proximity to Parksville, Qualicum Beach is required to comply.


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