ALERT!  Major shift in housing policy enacted in BC

I want to alert you to a recent change to BC law.  I anticipate this will have wide reaching consequences for many strata property owners and those looking to purchase a strata unit.          

In a nutshell, the provincial government has just amended the Strata Property Act to remove ALL rental restrictions (other than short-term rentals) and ALL age restrictions (other than 55+ buildings) for condos, townhouses, etc.  The intention is to open up more options for those in need of housing. 

This will result in a shift in property values away from some buildings and towards others as investors seek opportunities.  Watch for a change in the occupancy mix of buildings as tenants and families move into buildings which had previously banned or discouraged them. In addition, more owners may opt to sell or rent their units now, taking advantage of the wider market available to them.  

Strata complexes still wishing to discourage children and tenants will be seeking ways to work around these new laws...  Strata lawyers will likely be busy coming up with creative tweaks and additions to bylaws for such things as noise infractions, move-in/move-out fees, and skateboarding in the common property areas.  

This has opened a wide swath of buildings which, if not for prior restrictions, would make excellent investment units. There is opportunity here for investors.  For example, many condo buildings around UVIC are both age and rental restricted.  Owners have historically chosen to limit the occupancy to adult owners in order to keep their buildings from having a population of young students coming and going.  With this new legislation, any owner of one of these units could choose to rent or sell to a student or their family.  Is this a pro or a con?  I guess it depends on your situation.  


Andrew Plank