Elimination of Rental Restrictions BC
Right now, there are 3 different ways that rental restrictions are often represented in a strata property:
- Building allows rentals entirely (100% rentals allowed)
- Rentals allowed with restrictions (often a # or % of units are allowed to rent. Once that has hit capacity, owners will be placed on a waitlist and cannot rent until strata grants approval)
- Rentals not allowed (no rentals allowed)
Previously, buildings that were built after 2010 could not impose rental restrictions. However, based on the new Act, ALL strata’s of any age building/complex would NOT be allowed to impose restrictions on how many units can be rented. Therefore, all strata buildings and complexes would have to convert to rentals entirely allowed if it was not already the case. (option 1)
Based on the Speculation and Vacancy Tax exemption requests, there are currently 2900 units that are sitting vacant simply due to these rental or age restrictions.
Furthermore, there are an estimated 300,000 units in strata’s across BC that forbid renting. With the proposed new rules, this could drastically increase rental supply and bring new homes to market.
Pros of Eliminating Rental Restrictions:
- Increase of rental unit supply.
–> The government currently estimates at least 2900 units that are vacant and not being rented right now due to rental or age restrictions, based on exemption requests for the Speculation and Vacancy Tax.
- Flexibility for strata unit owners to be able to rent their unit out in the event of life changes.
- Potential to bring down the price of rent due to increased supply.
Cons of Eliminating Rental Restrictions:
- Concerns this may increase prices, as investors will have more opportunities to purchase with all buildings/complexes now allowing rentals.
- Added obligation and paperwork for volunteer strata councils.
- The Condo Home Owner’s Association of BC was not a fan of this new legislation, saying it could make quality of life worse for residents as the strata corporation does not have the right to screen tenants – they are at the mercy of whoever the landlord accepts.
- Units currently for sale may convert to rental units, which could decrease supply and increase prices of homes.
Once the bill is approved in the legislature, it will become effective immediately — enabling all condo owners to rent their unit, regardless of former strata rules. In the case of problem renters, the new rules allow a strata corporation to issue an eviction notice in place of the landlord.
For owners in buildings with no rentals, this means your value just increased as your target market has opened up!
Exception: Air BnB restrictions will still apply
Keep in mind: There are still various other rental rules/restrictions that do not fall under what is being changes.
For example, Air BnB restrictions will still allowed to be imposed on strata owners. It is common to see minimum requirements for rental periods, such as a minimum of 30 days (or possibly 6 months) to restrict Air BnB’ing of a strata unit.
Elimination of Age Restrictions BC
There is also a proposal for eliminating age restrictions on properties.
Currently, you’ll often see age-related strata rules such as residents cannot be under the age of 19, 45, or 55 depending on the building.
The intention behind this change is to create more housing supply options, as well as create flexibility for homeowners within these age restricted communities in the event that life changes occur. (ie they want to start a family)
Exception: 55+ (seniors-only housing)
There is an exception to the elimination of the age restrictions, and buildings/complexes that were already noted as 55+ age restricted will still be allowed to keep that restriction. The reasoning behind that is that many of these 55+ buildings are intended as seniors-only housing.
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