British Columbia’s (Canada) campground and lodging industry faces a pivotal transformation as the Short-Term Rental Accommodations Act, designated as Bill 35-2023, rapidly advances through the legislative process.
Introduced by Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon on October 16, the Act received its third reading on October 26, ushering in a new era of regulation for short-term rentals in the province.
The Act, anchored by three primary objectives, is poised to exert significant influence on the outdoor hospitality sector, including campgrounds and glamping operators in British Columbia.
Key among the Act’s provisions is the amplification of regulatory tools and increased fines at the disposal of local governments. This aspect of the legislation is particularly pertinent to campground and lodging proprietors, as it reinforces the capacity of local authorities to govern short-term rentals, mitigating potential disruptions within the serene outdoor hospitality sector.
A persistent challenge faced by campground and lodging owners across British Columbia is the diversion of long-term rentals into the short-term market. The Act acknowledges this issue and seeks to encourage the repurposing of short-term rentals into long-term housing options. For campground operators, this potential influx of long-term guests offers the promise of more stable revenue streams.
The Act introduces the establishment of a short-term rental registry, a vital component for the campground and glamping industry. Hosts offering short-term rentals are mandated to include a provincial registration number in their listings. Additionally, if a business license is required by the local government, it must be prominently displayed. This provision ensures equitable competition and adherence to regulatory standards.
British Columbia will inaugurate a provincial compliance and enforcement unit, which will play a pivotal role in monitoring and enforcing regulatory compliance within the industry. This dedicated unit will track compliance, issue orders, and administer penalties for violations, providing owners with assurance that regulations will be consistently upheld.
The Act is set to be rolled out gradually over the next two years, providing campground and lodging proprietors with a reasonable window to adapt to the evolving regulatory landscape.
Campground owners should take note that the Act will not encompass hotels and motels. Additional regulations are in the pipeline to exempt other property types, such as timeshares and fishing lodges, which are not the primary targets of this legislation.
The BC Short-Term Rental Accommodations Act presents a transformative development for British Columbia’s campground, glamping, and lodging industry. This legislation offers an opportunity to reinforce local governance, promote long-term housing options, and institute a robust regulatory framework. The phased implementation ensures a smooth transition, granting campground and lodging operators the time needed to adapt. The Act signifies a significant stride toward a more balanced, regulated, and prosperous outdoor hospitality industry in British Columbia.