On November 21, 2022 the Government of B.C. announced changes to legislation that will remove rental restrictions in strata properties and introduced the new Housing Supply Act, which will provide select municipalities with increased powers to address housing development. These changes will have implications for consumers, real estate licensees, and real estate developers in our province.

Amendments to the Strata Property Act will end all strata rental-restriction bylaws and limit age-restriction bylaws so that the only permitted age restriction is to preserve and promote seniors’ housing through the “55 and over” rule in strata housing. Moving forward, it will not be permissible for a strata to have 19-plus age restrictions; however, “seniors only” strata will still be allowed.

If approved, the changes to the Strata Property Act would take effect immediately. Bylaws restricting short-term rentals, such as AirBnB, will continue to be allowed.

Removal of the rental restriction on strata properties, would also expose all owners of strata housing units in major urban markets to the provincial speculation tax (or empty home tax) which currently exempts those units in strata buildings that don’t allow rentals, and a similar tax in the City of Vancouver.

“Yes, it dissolves the exemption category,” confirmed Tony Gioventu, executive director of the Condominium Homeowners Association of BC. (CHOA)

The speculation tax is applied for homes in B.C. that are left vacant, but the current law allows an exemption when “a covenant or a strata bylaw prevents the property from being rented out.” Lifting the exemption would mean that an owner would be subject to the tax, which is 0.5 per cent of the home’s value for B.C. residents and 2 per cent for foreign owners.

Strata owners in the City of Vancouver would also suddenly be subject to the Vancouver vacant home tax, which was recently increased to 3 per cent and which currently exempts units that are subject to a strata’s rental restriction. 

If you have any questions or would like advice related to Rental and Age Restrictions for Strata Properties, how the new legislation may impact you, or compliance matters, please contact us at 604-688-4900 or by email at morgan@barbeau.co or paul@barbeau.co.