March 27, 2024

VICTORIA – Hotels and motels are exempted from the Short-Term Rental Accommodations Act introduced by the NDP government last fall.

The province announced regulations that are intended to provide criteria for exemptions for strata hotels and motels from the principal-residence requirement for short-term rentals, which is set to go into effect in many B.C. communities May 1, 2024.

The new regulations are expected to include an exemption from the principal-residence requirement for certain strata-titled hotels and motels, so they can continue to operate. Strata hotels and motels are facilities made up of individually owned strata lots, where accommodation is provided in a manner similar to a hotel or motel. Units in strata hotels and motels are often managed and rented out by the strata hotel or motel, not the individual.

It is expected that an existing strata hotel or motel will be exempt from the principal-residence requirement if one of the following two options applies.

First, the accommodation had to have been providing service in a manner similar to a hotel or motel prior to December 8, 2023 that includes having a staffed front desk on site, one or more employees or contractors providing housekeeping services for overnight accommodations, and a platform providing platform services available exclusively for the use of owners offering short-term rentals at the property.

Secondly, before December 8, 2023, the property had to have more than one strata lot on the property not being used as a principal residence, must have had a rental management agreement between the manager and strata lot owner, or a restrictive covenant under section 219 of the Land Title Act.

The exemption for strata hotels and motels is expected to apply to all units on the property, so there is consistent treatment of all of the units for the entire property. Other properties, such as existing residential buildings that do not meet the above requirements, will not meet this exemption from the Province’s principal-residence requirement.

New hotels and motels constructed after December 8, 2023 had to have all three services in the first option, and one of those in the second option, in order to be exempt from the principal-residence requirement.

Business Examiner Staff

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