On this page you will find the following:
- What is a Short Term Rental?
- Where are STRs Permitted?
- What are the Rules?
- What is Being Done to Enforce the Rules?
- How do I Get a Business Licence?
Short-Term Rentals and Vacation Rentals are terms that are used interchangeably. From a land-use and zoning perspective, they are commercial uses rather than residential uses. Short-term rentals are defined as rentals for a period of less than one month. Bed and Breakfasts are regulated seperately, but also require a business licence.
The District of Tofino Zoning Bylaw defines the terms as follows:
- SHORT TERM RENTAL means means the use of a dwelling unit to provide tourist accommodation.
- BED AND BREAKFAST means the use of a single family dwelling by a permanent resident of the dwelling as tourist accommodation including breakfast, while the operator continues to reside in the dwelling.
- DWELLING UNIT means one or more habitable rooms which together constitute a self-contained living unit with a separate entrance providing cooking, sanitary and living and/or sleeping facilities to be used as a dwelling.
Short-term rentals are allowed in the R1, R4, RA1, RA2, RA3, A1, A2, A3, A4, and CD(EL) zones, as well as the Fred Tibbs condos.
To find the zoning of a particular property, use our GIS Portal.
Regulations regarding Short Term Rentals are found in two Bylaws:
This Bylaw requires owners or operators of buisnesses to hold valid business licences, sets the licence fees and establishes different regulations for different classes of business.
*NEW* An amendment passed at the December 14th, 2017 Council meeting requires owners or operators of tourist accommodation businesses to display their valid District of Tofino business licence number on any marketing, advertisements or promotions for the business. (Bylaw No. 858.09, 2017)
- District of Tofino Zoning Bylaw: This Bylaw divides the District of Tofino into zones, and provides regulations governing the use of land, buildings, structures, parking, and landscaping.
The sections copied below are for convenience only, see the the full text of the Bylaw for any specific regulations in your zone or for your proposed use.
Regulations for Bed and Breakfast use:
i. The maximum number of guests in a Bed and Breakfast use at any one time is 6;
ii. The resident of the dwelling must be resident in the premises while the Bed and Breakfast use is operating;
iii. The maximum number of guests per sleeping unit (bedroom) is 2;
iv. No separate or additional facilities for the keeping or preparation of food is permitted within any sleeping unit (bedroom); and,
v. A Bed and Breakfast use is only permitted in a dwelling that contains no more than four sleeping units (bedrooms).
Regulations for Short Term Rental use:
i. The maximum number of dwellings on a lot that may be occupied by a Short Term Rental use is 1;
ii. A Short Term Rental use may be operated within a Secondary Suite, Caretaker Cottage or principal Dwelling, and in any calendar year may be operated only in one of the dwelling units on any lot;
iii. A Short Term Rental use may not be located within any dwelling unit that has more than three sleeping units or bedrooms in total;
iv. The maximum number of guests in a Short Term Rental use at any one time is 6;
v. Short Term Rental use is permitted only where a Residential Use, occupied by a Permanent Resident, is occurring in a dwelling unit on the lot other than the dwelling unit in which the Short Term Rental use is occurring;
vi. Short Term Rental use is only permitted on a lot that contains two dwelling units; and,
vii. As a limited exception to the home occupation requirements set out in this bylaw and Part 4.3.2(f)(i), a property operated as a Short Term Rental by a licensed property management company can also be used as a home occupation provided that the Short Term Rental use complies with all other provisions of this bylaw, including the presence of a permanent resident on the lot.
Since 2016, District of Tofino Council has authorized a proactive approach to enforcement of unlawful short-term rentals. This means that staff are actively enforcing compliance in this sector through inspections and investigations.
The Enforcement Process:
District staff gather information about existing short-term rentals in Tofino using “Host Compliance” software. "Host Compliance" allows staff to find current and past advertisements of short term rentals listed on a variety of online platforms using proprietary software and methods. Staff’s review of the listings indicates that there are several categories of non-compliance:
- Short-term rentals offered and occurring where there is no business license;
- Short-term rentals offered and occurring where not permitted by zoning:
- Short-term rentals offered where there is no primary resident;
- Multiple short-term rentals offered and occurring where only a single short-term rental is permitted.
- Send letters to every property owner in Tofino outlining what is permitted and prohibited for short-term rentals as well as the District’s plans for moving toward proactive enforcement. (July 2016 Letter)
- Amend short-term rental business license fees to meet enforcement costs. (Bylaw No. 858.08)
- Dedicate more resources to allow for direct and proactive enforcement. (Business Licence Inspector)
- Using Host Compliance and onsite inspections, prepare a list of vacation rentals that are in compliance with District bylaws and compare against information of known short-term rentals. (See List Below)
- Contact observed non-compliant property owners.
- Increase enforcement activity on non-compliant properties that includes:
- Consideration of suspending business licenses.
- Issuing fines to businesses operating unlawfully.
- Issuing fines to agencies facilitating unlawful rentals.
- Prosecution of bylaw offences in BC Supreme Court and Adjudication.
To view Adjudication Notices for tickets that are being disputed, Click Here.
Staff are committed to working with all owners to come into compliance.
To obtain a District of Tofino Business Licence, make sure you have taken the following steps:
- Determine the zoning of your property by viewing the District of Tofino GIS Portal
- Check the District of Tofino Zoning Bylaw to determine the uses permitted in your zone
- Learn about Business Licencing: Application process, fees, regulations.
Please find below a list of the short term rental properties that have current District of Tofino Business Licences.*
*NOTE: Having a current business licence does not confirm compliance with all District bylaws. The District of Tofino is currently reviewing business licenses and working with owners to gain compliance with all applicable bylaws.
This list will be updated quarterly by District staff.
Last Updated: July, 2019
|#14 FRED TIBBS|
|1342 CHESTERMAN BEACH|
|241 CAMPBELL STREET|
|512634 BC LTD, DBA/ WILDPOD GLAMPING|
|AFRICAN BEACH CABIN|
|ALAQUA 0739317 BC LTD|
|ALDER HOUSE TOFINO|
|ARNET HOUSE BED & BREAKFAST|
|ARTISTS NOOK VACATION RENTAL|
|BEACH BREAK LODGE B & B|
|BEACHCOMBER HOUSE RENTAL|
|BIRD SANCTUARY HOUSE & SUITES|
|BLACK BEAR GUESTHOUSE|
|BLUE BEAR BED & BREAKFAST|
|BLUE HERON GUEST HOUSE|
|BRIMAR B & B|
|BROWNING PASS CABIN|
|BURNSIDE HOLDINGS INC.|
|BY THE BAY|
|CHESTERMAN BEACH B&B|
|CHESTERMAN BEACH B&B|
|CHESTERMAN BEACH BREAK|
|CHESTERMAN BEACH COTTAGE SUITE|
|CHESTERMAN BEACH ESTATES SUITE|
|CHESTERMAN BEACH FINE ART VACATION HOUSE|
|CHESTERMAN ON THE POINT|
|CHINOOK VACATION RENTALS 1|
|CHINOOK VACATION RENTALS 2|
|CLAYOQUOT ASSOCIATES, DBA CLAYOQUOT CEDAR HOUSE|
|COBBLE WOOD GUESTHOUSE|
|COX BAY CABIN|
|COX BAY COTTAGE|
|COX BAY RETREAT|
|DANCING CEDARS GUEST HOUSE|
|DON LEWIN, DBA TOFINO CHALET|
|DOUG WRIGHT VACATION RENTAL|
|EBB AND FLOW GUEST HOUSE|
|EMERALD FOREST B & B|
|ENDLESS SUMMER TOFINO|
|FERNWOOD BY THE SEA|
|FOREST EDGE ACCOMMODATIONS|
|FOREST VIEW CABIN|
|FRED TIBBS #17 SEA SHELL|
|FRED TIBBS #19|
|FRED TIBBS #20|
|FRED TIBBS #6|
|FRED TIBBS #8|
|FRED TIBBS CONDO #10|
|FRED TIBBS CONDO 22|
|G2 DESIGN WORKS|
|GOLD COAST RETREAT|
|HARBOURFRONT GUEST SUITE|
|HUMMING BIRD B&B|
|INNER NATURE RETREAT|
|J-BAY GUEST HOUSE|
|JENSENS BAY RETREAT|
|JENSENS BAY WATERFRONT CABIN|
|JUDI'S SEASIDE COTTAGE|
|LA VIE EN ROSE|
|LATCHFORD WORLD HOLDINGS LTD|
|LIVINGSTON FAMILY TRUST|
|LONE CONE GUEST SUITES|
|LUCKY EAGLE GUEST LODGE|
|MACKENZIE DYNAMICS CONTRACTING, DBA CLOUDBREAKER HOUSE|
|NATURE'S EDGE GUEST HOUSE|
|OCEAN HILL HOUSE|
|OCEAN ON THE BEACH RETREAT|
|ON THE BEACH GUEST SUITE|
|OSA HOUSE TOFINO|
|PACIFIC BREEZE PROPERTIES , DBA/ SEASTAR B&B|
|PFEIFFER VACATION RENTAL|
|RAY OF SUNSHINE|
|RED CROW GUEST HOUSE|
|RHODODENDRON RENTALS, C/O BEN GOSS|
|SALAL CHESTERMAN BEACH TOFINO|
|SALAL FOREST SUITE|
|SALT VACATION RENTAL|
|SAND DOLLAR GUEST HOUSE|
|SANDPIPER BEACH HOUSE|
|SAUNA HOUSE B&B|
|SEA ROGUE GUEST HOUSE|
|SEA STAR BEACH RETREAT|
|SEAS THE DAY|
|SIENNA'S HARBOUR HOUSE|
|SIENNA'S TREE HOUSE|
|SLACK TIDE INN|
|SMITOLSON'S SURF SHACK|
|STAY COLD HOLDINGS LTD|
|STELLER'S JAY RETREAT|
|STORM BAY B & B, John Burchett|
|STORM BAY GUEST HOUSE|
|STORM WATCH SUITES|
|SUMMERHILL GUEST HOUSE|
|SUNSET HOUSE ON ROSIE BAY|
|SUNSET LOFT TOFINO|
|SUPREME EIK LANDING WATERFRONT VIEW|
|SURFERS GUESTHOUSE TOFINO|
|THE ANCHOR AT CHESTERMAN BEACH|
|THE BEACON GUESTHOUSE|
|THE BIRDS NEST|
|THE BLUE CABIN|
|THE BRICK HOUSE|
|THE COUGAR DEN|
|THE COZY CURLEW|
|THE EAGLES NEST TOFINO|
|THE FLOWER FOREST GUESTHOUSE|
|THE GREY WOLF|
|THE HEARTS GARDEN TEMPLE AND SPA|
|THE HOLIDAY HOUSE|
|THE HOMESTEAD TOFINO|
|THE HYGGE HOUSE|
|THE INN LET HOUSE|
|THE OSPREY SUITE|
|THE POINT AT CHESTERMAN|
|THE TUG BOAT INN|
|THE WHIMBREL CABIN|
|TIDES INN BED & BREAKFAST|
|TOFINO BEACH HOUSE|
|TOFINO BEACH OASIS|
|TOFINO CARRIAGE HOUSE|
|TOFINO CEDAR HOME|
|TOFINO DREAM COTTAGE|
|TOFINO FOREST HOUSE|
|TOFINO OYSTER CATCHER SUITE|
|TOFINO SURF CABIN|
|TOFINO TRAVELLERS GUESTHOUSE|
|TOFINO TREE HOUSE|
|TOFINO TREK-INN B&B|
|TOFINO VIEW HOUSE|
|TOFINO WATERFRONT CONDO|
|TOFINO WATERFRONT STUDIO|
|TONQUIN BEACH NEST|
|TONQUIN BEACH SUITE|
|TONQUIN POINT STUDIO|
|TRANQUIL CREEK LUXURY HOME|
|TREE FERN GUEST HOUSE|
|TREETOP SUITE, DBA/ TOFINO FAMILY HOME & HOBBY FARM|
|VISTA HERMOSA ENTERPRISES, DBA VISTA HERMOSA|
|VISTA HERMOSA ENTERPRISES, DBA VISTA HERMOSA 2|
|WARDOWEST DOCKSIDE LODGE|
|WARDOWEST GREEN CEDAR RETREAT|
|WEST COAST CEDAR SUITE|
|WEST COAST FAMILY HOME|
|WEST COAST HIDEAWAY|
|WILD LIGHT TOFINO|
|YEW WOOD HIDEAWAY SUITE|
|YEW WOOD RETREAT|
|YEW WOOD STAY B&B|
|ZOES @ NORTH BEACH|
Business Licence Inspector
250-725-3229 ext. 605