I operate a licensed short term rental (STR) in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, in our primary residence. – My wife doesn’t like it that much as its an inconvenience but it’s a great way for us to help pay down property taxes, debt or otherwise.
Ever since the City of Vancouver created a program to license STRs in the city, as a result of thousands being listed on various rental sites like airbnb and vrbo, it has thrown stratas for a loop. Some Stratas have general rental restrictions and some don’t. Some support short term rentals and others don’t. Generally speaking, many stratas do not have specific bylaws that contemplate the issue.
And, as you learned from my last article, “It’s not for stratas to find municipal bylaw breaches,” where there is an absence of an express bylaw prohibiting short term rentals, they are permitted.
So, I voluntarily informed my strata that I was licensed to operate the STR and that I had guests....
In my earlier article on short term rentals in British Columbia, I discussed the BC Supreme Court case Nanaimo (Regional District) v. Saccomani where the district was successful in getting a statutory injunction against a vacation home operator. That case was referenced in a February 2019 Civil Resolution Tribunal decision between an owner and a strata located in Vancouver, Meloché v. The Owners, Strata Plan BC 478, 2019 BCCRT 230.
In this case, the self represented applicant alleged and sought, among other things, that: his strata was inconsistently enforcing the bylaws respecting short term rentals; two of the strata council members should be removed from the strata as they were short term rental operators; and, he wanted his legal costs for bringing the dispute.
The tribunal member, aka adjudicator, conducted analysis as to whether a strata bylaw had been breached as alleged by the applicant. In analyzing this, the adjudicator noted that the Strata Property Act, “...