Some very interesting developments lately have to do with the legality of rental restrictions. There has been a shortage of rental units for years in British Columbia. In order to address this, the Provincial Government recently passed legislation dealing with the rental provisions of the Strata Property Act ("SPA").
Under the old section 143 of the SPA, a rental restriction bylaw passed by a Strata Corporation did not apply to that strata lot until the strata lot was conveyed by the first owner after the developer or until the date that the rental period disclosed in the RDS expired, whichever was earlier. Essentially the first owner was always able to rent out the strata unit until the expiration of the rental period disclosed in the RDS, but not subsequent owners.
Pursuant to the amended Section 143 of the SPA, for a new RDS filed after December 31, 2009, a rental restriction bylaw will not apply to that strata lot until the date that the rental period disclosed in the RDS expires. This expiration is usually a long time away: perhaps 99 years or even indefinite.
Therefore, practically speaking, starting January 1, 2010, a new RDS will benefit every subsequent owner of that strata lot rather than just the first owner after the developer. All future owners will be able to rent the strata lot without being subject to any rental restriction bylaw for as long as the rental period disclosed in the new RDS allows them to.
This does not apply to strata buildings where the RDS was filed prior to Dec. 31, 2009.