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    Accommodation Rentals Regulations

    Considering operating a Short-Term Vacation Rental (STVR) or a Bed & Breakfast (B&B)?  If so, there are a few considerations to help guide you through the process.

    There are different types of accommodation rentals permitted within residential zones in Port Hardy. When considering which type is best suited for you and your property, it is important to be aware of how a STVR and B&B differ.

    All applications for short-term vacation rentals must comply with all of the requirements in the STVR Guide, as well as any other licensing requirements. Issuance of a license is contingent on the completion of the site fire and safety inspections.


    It is necessary to distinguish that STVRs are distinct from B&Bs. As per District of Port Hardy Zoning Bylaw No. 1010-2013, the definitions are as follows:

    Bed & Breakfast means the provision of nightly accommodation and breakfast only for transient accommodation, as an accessory use within a single detached dwelling. 

    Short-Term Vacation Rental means a rental of a residential dwelling unit for periods of less than 31 consecutive days. 

    Simplified, B&B operators host guests in their homes nightly, sharing facilities and providing breakfast, whereas STVRs are stand-alone accommodations, offering a separate unit with sleeping, eating, and bathing facilities, only used by the occupants.


    It is the responsibility of the property owners aiming to open a business to ensure that ALL regulations, including zoning, use, building, health, licensing and any other requirements, are met prior to operating an STVR or B&B. Failure to do so may result in the denial of issuance of your business license application and/or bylaw enforcement action which may include fines and/or suspensions.

    A valid District of Port Hardy Business License must be obtained prior to operating an STVR or B&B within Port Hardy. An amount to be levied or collected for each twelve (12) month license period shall be based on the current annual license fee. Fire and safety inspections are required prior to the issuance of a new license.


    An STVR, often referred to as an AIRB&B, offers flexibility in usage. Either an entire home, a portion of a home, such as a secondary suite, or a carriage home located on the same property as a principal residence is rented short-term. A B&B is the nightly accommodation within the principal residence of which the homeowner resides and includes breakfasts.

      • STVR is not permitted in combination with a B&B home.
      • Only one (1) STVR per property is permitted.
      • Each eligible property owner is allowed only one short-term vacation rental in Port Hardy.
      • Where applicable, approval from the Strata Council or owner is required and compliance with zoning regulations is mandatory.
      • Apartments with a common entrance are prohibited from STVR and B&B use.


    Off-street parking shall be provided in conjunction with the requirements for residential dwelling units associated with the use of the building.


    Operators of accommodation rentals are required to collect both Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and Municipal Regional District Tax (MRDT) on sales. PST is collected at 8% and MRDT at 3%; this applies to all properties.

    PST and MRDT do not apply to accommodations provided:

      • Properties with gross revenue less than $2,500 the previous 12 months, do not anticipate an estimated gross revenue of more than $2,500 in the next 12 months and do not list on an online platform
      • You rent to the same person for a period of more than 27 days

    For more information visit: gov.bc.ca/pst


    All STVRs and B&Bs must comply with the latest BC Building Code, BC Fire Code and BC Plumbing Code requirements and amendments thereto.


    A building permit is required if renovations are being done in order to operate a B&B or STVR. The permit (with drawings showing the proposed construction) must be applied for and the building permit paid prior to the renovation work commencing. The renovation for a new licence must be inspected by the Building Inspector before a Business Licence will be issued and operations begin.

    Occupant Load:

    It is important that the use of B&B premises remain primarily that of a single family residence. A B&B home shall be operated as a secondary use only within the principal building, with a maximum of three (3) sleeping units for a maximum of six (6) guests per B&B operation. A fire alarm is required where the combined occupant load of the single family residence and B&B accommodation exceeds ten (10) sleeping accommodations.

    Bedrooms to be equipped with the following:

      • Beds – Queen, Double or Twin: NO cots, pullout couches or lawn chairs
      • Exterior window
      • Privacy lock operated from the inside
      • Curtains, blinds providing complete privacy

    Bathrooms to be equipped with the following:

      • Shower or bathtub
      • Toilet
      • Lavatory (hand basin)
      • Privacy lock operated from the inside

    Fire Extinguishers:

    At least one multi-purpose fire extinguisher with a minimum 3A-10BC rating is to be provided in a convenient location, such as the hallway outside of the bedroom(s). It is also desired to have a similar extinguisher by the exit. All extinguishers shall carry the CAN/ULC label.

    Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms:

    Smoke alarms shall be installed in all sleeping rooms, in one hallway and one per storey. Smoke alarms conforming to CAN/ULC-S531 must be hardwired, interconnected, and installed in each sleeping room and each hallway or living space serving sleeping rooms.

    For a building that contains a fuel burning appliance (eg. gas range or fireplace) or an attached garage, a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm(s) conforming to CAN/CSA-6.19 is to be installed in the same area as the smoke alarms.

    Means of Egress:

    The entire building is to be free-flowing and interconnected. Every bedroom shall have at least one outside window or exterior door openable from the inside without the use of keys, tools, or special knowledge and without the removal of sashes or hardware. The window shall provide an unobstructed opening of not less than 0.35 m2 (3-75 sq.ft.) in an area with no dimension less than 380 mm (15″) and maintain the required opening during an emergency without the need for additional support.

    Emergency Plan:

    Every household accepting paying guests shall have an emergency plan and it should be rehearsed to ensure it works. The plan should include what action to take in case of fire and provide alternate routes of escape to a safe meeting place where everyone can be accounted for. The plan should take into account the presence of any guests in the house who may need to be assisted to safety. The planned route shall be clearly marked on a sketch and posted on the inside of the door in each bedroom/sleeping room provided for paying guests.


      • Shall face the front road & are allowed in R-1 and R-2 zones.
      • Shall not exceed 0.6 square metres (6 square feet) in area.
      • Shall be the only “home occupation” sign located on the subject property.

    Free-standing B&B home signs must not be located within two metres of the front lot line. In the case of a corner lot, the sign must come no closer to the intersection than the area bounded by the intersection lot lines at a street corner and a line adjoining points along said lot line 6 metres from their points of intersection.


    An approved decommissioning permit is required where a suite or second kitchen containing facilities for the preparation or cooking of food exists for B&Bs.