Homeowners groups in British Columbia will soon be able to fine owners or residents up to $1,000 a day for defying the corporation's bylaws on short-term rentals.
The B.C. government says the regulations for the so-called strata corporations will be changed as of Nov. 30 to help the associations address short-term rentals, such as those arranged through Airbnb and other vacation websites.
Housing Minister Selina Robinson says in a news release that it's common to hear stories of long-term renters losing their homes when units are pulled out of the market to be used as short-term rentals.
Robinson says her government is supporting strata corporations to deal with the noise and security issues that can sometimes come with short-term rentals, and also preserve rentals for the long term.
Strata corporations can pass bylaws that restrict or ban short-term rentals and fine owners or residents who aren't complying, but the maximum fine is currently $200 a week.
Nearly 1.5 million people in B.C. live in strata housing, where the governing corporation is made up of the owners in the housing complex.
``Short-term rentals are a huge concern to strata corporations,'' says Sandy Wagner, president of the board of directors of the Vancouver Island Strata Owners Association, in the release.
``The wear and tear on the common property, as well as the security concerns caused by a steady stream of unknown occupants are just a few of the reasons why (the association), on behalf of our members, is pleased to support the proposed amendments ... which will permit strata corporations to assess fines at a real deterrent level.''
Airbnb spokeswoman Lindsey Scully says in a statement that when hosts sign up on the website, they must certify that they will comply with local rules before they list their space. The site also have a hosting responsibilities page that reminds people to check their local laws and regulations and includes additional information and resources, she says.
``The overwhelming majority of Airbnb hosts and guests are good neighbours and respectful travellers,'' she says. ``We want to do everything we can to help our community members be good neighbours in places they call home.''