The BC Government has introduced theShort-Term Accommodations Act which is another market intervention implementedwith the intent to increase the housing supply.

In summary, the changes include:

  • Limiting short-term rentals to the host’sprincipal residence plus one secondary suite or accessory dwelling unit (ADU)in most major BC communities (populations of 10,000 or more adjacent communities)effective on May 1, 2024.
  • Empowering regional districts tolicense short-term rentals located outsidemunicipalities.
  • Rules requiring rental platforms to shareData for monitoring and enforcement purposes.
  • Removal of legal non-conforming use(grandfathering) of historic short-term rental use.
  • Creation of a provincial registry forshort-term rentals and an accompanying compliance and enforcement unit.

Some properties are excluded from therules such as hotels, motels, strata hotels,timeshares, timeshares, fishing lodges, First Nationsreserve lands, and modern treaty lands(unless those First Nations opt in). You don’thave to be a real estate investor or own ashort-term rental unit owner to feel the hairon your arms rise in fear. Property Ownersshould be very afraid and consequentlyshouting from the roof tops –“What everhappened to property rights!”

Many of our client’s own family property orvacation property. They have worked, saved and are fortunate enough to have acquired asecondary property so that their family can vacation during the summer. Some of ourclients elect to rent out their properties to help offset some of the costs of ownership.It has been our experience that most of these clients are not extremely wealthyclients, but rather families who have made a financial sacrifice to have this specialsecondary property and they are stretchedthin enough like everyone else.

Is it patently unfair to download theresponsibility of fixing the housing crisisto the BC Residents and expect them tobear the financial burden while having theirproperty rights stripped away. Changethe use of a property already purchasedand used for that purpose legally is unfair and is having devastating consequences.Historically, when governments make significant changes such as these thereis often thought for those who will be affected, those who already own or in themiddle of contracts to purchase that have not yet closed and exemptions are made.

Consider the introduction of the Speculation& Vacancy Tax and the Flipping Tax. I must have missed the meeting where it becamea bad thing to buy, own and fix up real estate while paying taxes on the profit andimproving the housing supply.

As REALTOR®s we know too well theaffects of the housing crisis and have been sounding the alarm bell for decades.The problem is not what you do with your home, it is that there is NOT ENOUGHHOMES TO GO AROUND! The government provincially and federally have known aboutthe housing crisis for a very long time. Their record on completed builds and use of taxdollars is abysmal. Consider the critical independent auditingreport released of BC Housing in 2022 that eventually led to the firing of the entireboard of directors by Premier Ebby.

The report identified significant problems atthe Crown corporation, including inadequate oversight over decisions and spending andunclear roles and responsibilities, potentiallyimpacting B.C. Housing's ability to managerisks. It is disappointing but not surprisingto see BC Housing is in the news once again.This time it is for conflicts of interest whichis more blatant mismanagement at the top.

Oh great! The individuals that we arecounting on to fix the housing crisis arenot paying attention to what they aredoing and how much they are spending,and no one knows what anyone is really doing. Whatever happened to a carrotinstead of a stick? Why are there notsignificant tax, development incentives,or loans for ordinary homeowners to addaccommodations to their home?

Industry insiders know that marketinterventions often come with unintendedconsequences. We ask the governmentto stop making ordinary homeownersresponsible for fixing the housing crisis as it is unfair and can often be financiallydevastating.Many legislative changes for real estatehave occurred recently that impact ourclients. Now more than ever our clientsare relying on us for strategic adviceconcerning their largest financial asset.You have questions, RE/MAX has answers.

April Market Updates