BC homeowner ordered to pay strata thousands for listing home on Airbnb

A BC strata initiated a tribunal hearing against a homeowner for breaking short-term rental (STR) bylaws and listing her unit on Airbnb.

In a decision posted publicly, a strata sought an order forcing the homeowner to pay $7,000 in bylaw fines.

In response, the homeowner, Jessica Dexter, said that once the strata asked her to stop advertising her home as a short-term rental, she did. She also claimed that the strata didn’t follow proper procedures in its disciplining of her.

The BC Civil Resolution Tribunal found a middle ground in its decision.

According to the strata’s bylaws, anyone caught breaking the bylaw rules would be subject to a $1,000 daily fine.

The first letter Dexter received was on August 8, 2022, notifying her that the strata was made aware that she or someone in her family was listing her unit as an Airbnb. The letter was a warning asking for the owner’s cooperation in “curbing” the practice.

In another letter in September 2022, the strata notified Dexter that it had found Airbnb reviews left by people who stayed at the suite in June 2022, May 2022, April 2022, August 2022, July 2021, March 2021, and July 2018.

Dexter responded by email, refuting the claims. Soon after, the strata alleged that she was listing her unit as a short-term rental on Craigslist, which she also refuted. However, as noted above, the owner changed her story when the tribunal hearing came her way, and she took down the existing ads after being confronted about them.

Because of the seven instances of ads, the strata sought $7,000.

The tribunal found that some of the fines it imposed against Dexter weren’t valid because the bylaw was not yet in force. However, it did find that two of the fines it imposed were valid, and it ordered Dexter to pay $2,000.

The strata was also granted its request for an order against Dexter to stop advertising.

In total, including tribunal fees, Dexter was ordered to pay the strata $2,247.61.