These new regulations allow short-term rentals for eligible operators subject to a Business Licence and compliance with operating requirements. Eligible operators must have a Short-Term Rental Business Licence. Short term rentals are currently permitted as a home occupation in single family dwellings (up to two bedrooms in an occupied home with shared kitchen and living spaces). In addition, some short term rentals may be allowed as a legal non-conforming use in areas zoned for transient accommodation.
Below is a summary of some of the major changes -:
What are the new regulations?
New regulations allow Short Term Rental in principal residences only, either within a dwelling unit while the occupant is present, or in the whole home on occasion, for example when the normal resident is on vacation.
Principal residence is defined as:
The usual dwelling unit where an individual lives and conducts their daily affairs, like paying bills and receiving mail. It is generally the residence used in government records for things like your income tax, medical services plan, driver’s license and vehicle registration.
Do I need a business licence to operate?
Yes. Business Licences are mandatory for all short term rentals. The City of Victoria is only accepting business licence applications for currently permitted short term rentals. Business Licences for other types of short term rentals will be accepted as of April 3, 2018.
Will I be able to rent out my home when I am away?
The new rules allow this on occasion, providing you can prove that it is your principal residence and a business licence is obtained and regulations complied with.
I have a spare room I’d like to use as short term rental, is that allowed?
The new rules would mean this use (up to two bedrooms in an occupied home) would be allowed in all dwelling units, such as condos, duplexes, townhouses, secondary suites, and garden suites.
Are short term rentals allowed in strata units?
The new rules allow this use as legal non-confirming units in former transient zones only if strata bylaw permit them, as well as short term rental in principal residences.
My strata bylaws state that short term rentals are not permitted in the building. Can I still have a short term rental?
No. You must comply with your strata bylaws regardless of the City regulations. The City is not responsible for nor able to enforce strata bylaws.
What is transient accommodation?
Prior to September 21, 2017, transient accommodation was a use in zoning that was defined as areas allowing hotels, motels, vacation rentals, and bed and breakfast accommodation. New transient accommodation is hotels and motels only.
What has changed?
On September 21, 2017, following a public hearing, Council adopted a change to the Zoning Regulation Bylaw that removed vacation rentals (short term rentals) from the definition of transient accommodation. Therefore short term rentals are no longer permitted in transient accommodation zones.
There is no change to the home occupation use (this use is still allowed in single family homes throughout the City).
Why did the City make these changes?
The City is concerned about the availability of housing for residents of Victoria. However, it also acknowledges that short term rentals can be a valuable part of the local economy. Therefore, the proposed changes are to allow short term rental in ways that will not affect the availability of long-term rental housing.