Websites including AirBnB, VRBO, HomeAway, and Craigslist reveal thousands of short-term rentals (STRs) throughout Metro Vancouver.

To protect their long-term rental housing supply, municipalities are regulating STRs.

An STR is a rental accommodation on a residentially zoned property for a period of less than 30 days, excluding bed and breakfast (B&B) operations.

Here are the most recent initiatives of Richmond and Whistler.

Richmond

After receiving over 100 complaints from residents about noise, traffic, land-use violations, and strangers coming and going at all hours to hotel-like operations, Richmond staff investigated, finding 1,586 STRs listed on rental websites.

In January 2017, a staff report recommended regulating STRs. Richmond city council unanimously voted to ban STRs of less than 30 days, including secondary suites and laneway homes, with an exception for licensed B&Bs.

In March, 2017, Richmond council approved recommendations to amend bylaws and licensing requirements that permit short and long-term rentals in residential zones with the following conditions:

  • lodging/ boarding is limited to two guests. The operator must reside in the home;
  • single-family homes must be licensed B&B operations and owner-operators (can include spouses and children of the property owner), must live in the home full time. B&B licenses allow rental of up to three bedrooms at a time with a maximum of two guests per room for 30 days or less; and
  • “agri-tourism” accommodations in agricultural zones will now require site-specific rezoning.


Richmond doesn't permit the short-term rental of entire dwelling units (single-family homes or multi-family units) for 30 days or less.

B&Bs are not permitted in dwellings that already have a secondary suite, coach house, “granny” flat, or with existing lodging.
Violators can be fined up to $1,000 per day per offence.

Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW)

RMOW passed a bylaw on July 18, 2017 to prevent illegal overnight rentals in residential neighbourhoods zoned RS, RM, RR, and RSE.

Rentals of less than four consecutive weeks are not permitted. 

The new rules will:

  • maximize the availability of residential accommodations for Whistler’s housing needs; and
  • direct visitor rentals to the large number of properties within Whistler zoned for this purpose, such as Whistler Village.

Property owners with STRs should review if land use regulations for the property, as outlined in their land use contract or in the zoning, permit temporary tourist accommodation use.

If a property is within a zone that permits nightly rentals, the property owner must get an annual $165 business license. Violators face fines of $1,000 per day.

Learn about temporary tourist accommodation use here. Read the Zoning and Parking Bylaw 303, 2015.

Learn about residential use only accommodation here. (Go to page 13)

Is a Whistler property subject to a land use contract or restrictive zoning regulations?

  1. Click on Whistler's GIS Interactive Mapping Tool.
  2. Enter the property address or place the cursor over the property on the GIS map.
  3. If the zoning category information displays “LUC”, the property has a land use contract.
  4. If a zoning category is displayed, click on a link to take you to that zone in the zoning bylaw.