Skip to main content

Rental Restriction Strata Bylaw Exemptions


Many strata communities choose to impose rental restriction bylaws as a way to ensure that owners are committed to high maintenance standards and community contribution.

While rental restriction bylaws can have a positive effect on strata community and health of a building, they do have their downsides. Rental restriction bylaws can limit the potential market of buyers of strata lots in the building and can cause hardship when unexpected life events occur. There are four main rental restriction bylaw exemptions that allow people to circumvent rental restriction bylaws.

Family Member Exemption

Under the Strata Property Act and Strata Property Regulation, certain family members of strata lot owners are exempt from rental restriction bylaws. This exemption is open to parents or children of a strata owner, or the parents or children of an owner’s spouse (through marriage or common law cohabitation of at least two years).

Rental Disclosure Statements

When new strata property developments are built, developers frequently file a form called a Rental Disclosure Statement. This form lists the strata lots designated as rental units, as well as the period of time that the units are to be considered rental units. If the Rental Disclosure Statement was filed before December 31, 2009, this statement will create an exemption for the first owner of the strata lot. If the form was originally filed on or after January 1, 2010, the exemption applies to the first owner and all subsequent owners.

Hardship Exemptions

The Strata Property Act provides for exemptions to rental restriction bylaws where such bylaws cause hardship for the owner. Where an owner shows that the inability to rent out the strata lot will cause significant hardship for that specific owner, a strata council cannot unreasonably refuse a hardship exemption application. A strata council may choose to limit the amount of time that an owner granted a hardship exemption might rent out his or her strata lot. An ongoing challenge with hardship exemptions is that this area of the law is poorly defined. The Strata Property Act does not define the term “hardship” and, given the nature of the exemption and the cost of litigation, there are very few cases to help guide strata councils and owners in their decision-making and exemption application writing. Given the financial hardship that often creates the need to apply for an exemption, it can be very difficult for affected owners to challenge the decisions of strata councils.

If you need assistance with this or any other strata matter, contact Bell Alliance.

Subscribe to our newsletter for advice, tips, and the latest news.