Blog › November 2015

How Strata Councils Can Deal with AirBnB-Type Rentals


With more and more people offering their homes for short-term vacation rentals, what can strata councils do about it? 

West End Vancouver beaches

The rise in home owners offering short-term and vacation rentals through companies such as AirBnB, Craigslist and VRBO is making a significant impact on many strata corporations across the Lower Mainland. The line between a hotel and a traditional rental is being blurred.

Many strata councils are taking a firm stance against these short-term rentals by issuing bylaw violation fines under their existing bylaws, while working to have new stricter bylaws passed. The councils are not wrong in wanting to address the issue; however, an even keel and planned approach will yield the best results.

What We Know

For the unit owners renting out their homes, online rental services can be a good source of income while delivering a unique vacation experience for travelers.

There are thousands of listings for short-term rentals in Metro Vancouver through AirBnB, VRBO, HomeAway, Kijiji and Craigslist. Many are for condos and townhomes that are part of strata corporations.    

Strata corporations are understandably concerned about security. When neighbours do not recognize each other, keys and fobs are harder to track, and short-term renters are less likely to follow security protocols.

The City of Vancouver does not allow a person to use a dwelling unit for less than one month unless it is a hotel or bed and breakfast, as per Section 10.21.6 of the Zoning and Development Bylaws.

The City of Vancouver and other cities in Metro Vancouver do not provide resources to actively enforce this bylaw, so strata councils are trying to address the issue themselves.

Traditional bylaws used by strata corporations may not apply due to their wording. Short-term rentals can be deemed a “licence” instead of the traditional “rental” and the bylaws therefore may not apply.   

What to Do

Strata councils need to engage the ownership they represent to better understand their community’s wants and needs. Open discussions at general meetings of the ownership, along with surveys and information sessions held within the building, are a great way to gather feedback.

If those that have opposing views can better understand the other’s position, there typically will not be any surprises at the general meeting when it comes to voting on a new rental bylaw. Information sessions also allow any objections to be addressed or potential revisions to be accommodated in the proposed bylaw changes.  

The council then needs to design new bylaws that reflect the community’s needs. In most cases, this will be limiting rentals/licences to a specific time period such as six or 12 months.

Further regulations may be warranted such as well worded bylaws for “move-in” fees or restrictions on advertising terms for the rental/licence agreement.

The ownership will then need to approve the proposed bylaw changes at a general meeting and have them filed with the Land Title Office to be enforceable.

Finally the strata council and the management company can begin working on ensuring owners know of the changes and are in compliance with the new bylaws.

A Solid Action Plan

Below is a common plan of action for strata councils in addressing short-term rentals:

  • Have an open discussion at your next annual general meeting to gather input from the owners in attendance. Stay open-minded and record concerns and objections.
  • Create a summary page that identifies why the council feels there needs to be a change, what the impact would be, any proposed bylaw changes, how short-term rentals will be tracked, and when the changes to short-term rentals would take place. 
  • Share the summary page with the ownership. One way to accomplish this is by including it with the distribution of meeting minutes. Consider including contact information so owners may provide additional feedback.
  • Hold a meeting in the lobby or amenity room with council members present to answer any questions about the proposed changes. This is the time to engage the ownership and ensure the council’s plan is clearly articulated.
  • If a change in bylaws is needed, ask your strata manager for assistance. Your management company will also assist in ensuring a general meeting is called and a vote held for approval of the bylaws.
  • Educate the ownership by broadcasting the changes through email, notices, and letters to the owners.
  • Site staff, such as building managers and concierge personnel, should be trained on the changes so that they can educate the ownership and be part of a successful implementation.
  • Identify those owners who are not complying with the changes. Send them correspondence that outlines the new changes that have been implemented.
  • Reinforce the changes in strata council meeting minutes and other correspondence.
  • Send bylaw violation warning letters to those owners who are in contravention. If no response is received, contacting the owner’s agent directly or calling the owner may be required.
  • Continue following up and be consistent with all owners.    
  • Review short-term rentals on an annual basis and be prepared to make minor changes or updates, as needed, to best reflect your community’s needs.

Additional Items to Consider

If the council does not understand the ownership’s needs, it may be difficult passing the required 3/4 vote. Specific bylaw wording will be needed to address short term rentals that may not qualify as a defined “tenancy”. Consult your strata management company in regards to crafting the appropriate bylaw wording.

There may be insurance coverage issues if residential units are being used for non-residential means, such as short-term rentals.    

The Strata Property Act requires a one-year exemption for rental units after a new bylaw restricting rentals is passed. If this is applicable to a strata corporation, the year exemption should be planned for and reminders issued well in advance. 

Persistent, consistent action is the key to weaving bylaw changes into the fabric of your strata.

- Originally piblished on REW.ca author credit FirstService Residential https://www.fsresidential.com/british-columbia/home

 


Recently Sold Listing 208 - 3621 W 26th Avenue, Vancouver, BC


R2009417 - 208 - 3621 W 26th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 208 - 3621 W 26th Avenue, Vancouver.

New Listing 3620 Carolina Street, Vancouver, BC


R2017333 - 3620 Carolina Street, Vancouver, BC, CANADAView my new listing for sale SOLD at 3620 Carolina Street, Vancouver and currently listed at $1,000,000.SOLD

CEDAR COTTAGE - Tax Assessment - $995,100. Attention first time buyers/investors!!! Affordable, cute & cozy, 4 bedroom home in a central location. A short walk to Fraser Street. 2 bedroom suite. 1/2 block to park, shops, Sir Charles Tupper Secondary & Livingston Elementary Schools. Only minutes from downtown & transportation. In good condition. Buyer to verify if important.

Recently Sold Listing 3210 W 48th Avenue, Vancouver, BC


R2007029 - 3210 W 48th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 3210 W 48th Avenue, Vancouver.

What the Average BC Home Price Will Buy You


The BC Real Estate Association says the average BC home price in 2015 will be $626,000. So what exactly does that buy in various regions? Here are five hot listings

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BCREA’s projections that the average home resale price in the province will increase to $626,000 this year. But with averages being so vague, what exactly does that buy you in different cities and regions?

Here are five BC homes that are currently listed at around the BCREA projected figure – see for yourself just what that will get you in Vancouver, Surrey, West Vancouver, Whistler and Victoria. You might be surprised at where the lowest cost-per-square-foot home is located… (Hint – it’s in the most expensive city of all these markets!)

Click through each property for more amazing photos and to see the full listings.

Champlain Heights, Vancouver

Listing price: $628,000
Three-bedroom, three-bathroom townhouse
2039 square feet
Price per square foot: $308

What the Average BC Home Price Will Buy You_3

Space is the name of the game in this three-bedroom townhouse in family-friendly Champlain Heights. Enjoy this 2,000-plus square foot home with its enormous south facing patio. The large open-concept living and dining room are perfect for entertaining, and a handy second entrance on the lower level leads directly to your two-vehicle carport.

White Rock, Surrey

Two-bedroom, two-bathroom condominium
953 square feet
Listing price: $639,000
Price per square foot: $671

What the Average BC Home Price Will Buy You_4

Live in luxury in this ultra-modern, two-bedroom condo in the sky. Enjoy stunning views of the ocean and mountains from the multiple balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows. Furry friends can join as well, along with your grown kids in this no-age and no-rental-restriction White Rock gem.

Howe Sound, West Vancouver

Three-bedroom, two-bathroom house
Listing price: $649,999
1686 square feet
Price per square foot: $386

What the Average BC Home Price Will Buy You_1

Private mooring gives direct access to this West-facing two-level A-frame that’s only 10 minutes by boat from West Van. The living room with vaulted ceilings opens to an incredible entertaining deck. Solar panels and sweeping vistas make this an unforgettable West Coast home.

Whistler Village, Whistler

Two-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom townhouse
Listing price: $618,000
1082 square feet
Price per square foot: $571

What the Average BC Home Price Will Buy You_0

Calling all skiers! Live in the heart of Whistler Village in this two-level, two-bedroom townhouse that boasts easy access to the lake beaches and ski hills alike. Warm up after a long day on the slopes in front of the fireplace or in the private, in-suite hot tub.

Fairfield West, Victoria

Two-bedroom, one-bathroom detached house
Listing price: $649,900
1012 square feet
Price per square foot: $642

What the Average BC Home Price Will Buy You_2

This darling 1930s two-bedroom Victoria home is steps to popular Cook Street Village and walking distance to downtown. Gorgeous refinished hardwood floors and a cosy fireplace add to the charm of this bright home.

 
 

- See more at: http://www.rew.ca/news/what-the-average-bc-home-price-will-buy-you-1.2112845#sthash.C4dwTMBq.dpuf



Recently Sold Listing 1255 E KING EDWARD AVENUE, Vancouver East, BC


V1137591 - 1255 E KING EDWARD AVENUE, Vancouver East, BC, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 1255 E KING EDWARD AVENUE, Vancouver East.

Recently Sold Listing 1029 E 12TH AVENUE, Vancouver, BC


R2013959 - 1029 E 12TH AVENUE, Vancouver, BC, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 1029 E 12TH AVENUE, Vancouver.

BC Home Sales to Hit 100,000 Mark This Year


Residential unit sales in 2015 to be third strongest on record, and then slow but stay strong in 2016, according to forecast

Home sales on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) across BC are projected to breach the 100,000-unit milestone this year, making 2015 the third strongest year on record, according to a British Columbia Real Estate Assocation (BCREA) forecast issued November 10.

If sales do exceed 100,000 as expected, it will also be the first year since 2007 that BC home sales beat the 10-year average.

The report said that, after climbing 15 per cent in 2014 and nearly 20 per cent this year, BC sales are expected to decline 7 per cent to 93,700 units in 2016 – a level described as “remaining elevated” by the BCREA.

Cameron Muir, BCREA chief economist, said, “Less latent pent-up demand and gradual upward momentum of mortgage interest rates is expected to ease housing demand next year.”

The average home resale price in the province is projected to increase 10.2 per cent to $626,000 this year. The price growth rate is then forecast to slow to a 2.2 per cent rise next year, taking the average price to t $639,700 in 2016. This predicted trend is in line with the CMHC’s recent forecasts for Vancouver house prices in 2016.

The inventory of homes listed for sale has fallen to its lowest level since 2007, according to the report. Because of this, builders and developers have increased production, with total housing starts in the province projected to reach more than 30,000 units this year. This would be the highest level of production since 2008.

However, the BCREA predicts that capacity constraints and easing-off consumer demand will mean a decline of BC housing starts to 28,800 units in 2016. This is slightly at odds with CMHC predictions for Vancouver alone, which forecast a modest increase in housing starts in 2016, followed by a slowdown in 2017.

- See more at: http://www.rew.ca/news/bc-home-sales-to-hit-100-000-mark-this-year-bcrea-1.2107844#sthash.n7KsuMzq.dpuf



Greater Vancouver Real Estate, October 2015


The Greater Vancouver real estate market continued its relentless pace in October, with sales up 19 per cent and prices up15.3 per cent year over year, according to Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver figures released this week. And it was the dramatic rise in the growth rate of condo prices that was the biggest surprise.

But how do the figures break down by city, and what are the key numbers? Our infographic below rounds them up.

Home sales up 19 per cent as prices rise 15.3 per cent – but dramatic rise in growth rate of condo prices is the biggest surprise - See more at: http://www.rew.ca/news/condo-prices-surge-as-vancouver-real-estate-continues-relentless-pace-rebgv-1.2102910#sthash.DJagM34S.dpuf

For the full story and analysis, click here.

 

Greater Vancouver Real Estate, October 2015

 
 


© Copyright 2015 - See more at: http://www.rew.ca/news/infographic-greater-vancouver-real-estate-october-2015-1.2103737#sthash.KiKNKdQM.dpuf