At the Council Meeting on September 5, Council adopted the RGA bylaw amendment to allow operators to rent their entire homes out for any three months in a calendar year, when not living in the unit during the guest stay. Previously, RGA operators were limited to renting their entire homes out for not more than three consecutive months. The rest of the RGA regulations remain the same.
In Gibsons, the term Residential Guest Accommodation (RGA) is used instead of Short Term Rental (STR).
An RGA is the rental of a residential dwelling unit, by paying guests, in any housing type (houses, secondary suites, lock-off suites, garden suites, cabins, apartments, and condos) for a temporary period (often less than a month.) RGAs are typically advertised through online venues such as Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway.com, Flipkey.com and others.
Under the current regulations, there are two “streams” of permittable RGAs:
- Stream 1 allows for dwelling units that have a principal resident, and
- Stream 2 for dwelling units where no one permanently resides.
Stream 2 is planned to be phased out within the next 2-5 years, however, in the meantime, permission to operate within Stream Two will be granted to a limited number of units under a Temporary Use Permit (TPU). This approach was taken to help achieve Council’s goals of protecting long-term rentals and keeping the scale of business-type operations appropriate in residential areas.
TUPs will be granted until December 31, 2024, with the opportunity to renew the permit only for a further 1-3 years upon expiry.
Enforcement of the new bylaws began on January 1, 2023.
Principal Residence means a single dwelling unit (see definition below) where a person lives at least nine months in a calendar year and conducts their daily affairs, including, without limitation, paying bills and receiving mail, and is the dwelling unit with the residential address used on documentation related to billing, identification, taxation and insurance purposes, including, without limitation, income tax returns, Medical Services Plan documentation, driver’s licenses, personal identification, and vehicle registration.
*A person cannot have more than one principal residence and a principal residence cannot include more than one dwelling unit.
Dwelling Unit means a self-contained room or set of rooms, with a private entrance, that is designed and intended to be occupied as a residence, and includes, at a minimum, separate and distinct sleeping, sanitary and cooking facilities.
Residential guest accommodation (RGA) means the accessory use of a dwelling unit or a portion of a dwelling unit, for the accommodation of paying guests, but is not a residential tenancy.
Residential Tenancy means the use of an entire dwelling unit or portion thereof under a tenancy agreement that has a term of 30 days or more, and is subject to the Residential Tenancy Act.