Industry News

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Temporary speculation and vacancy tax (SVT) exemption for property having rental restrictions phased out for 2022 tax year

From: Public Information and Corporate Services Branch 
Revenue Division, Ministry of Finance

The following information applies to owners of residential properties that are located in a designated speculation and vacancy tax region.

What you need to know:

  • The temporary property with rental restrictions exemption for the SVT will phase out at the end of the 2021 declaration period. The exemption will not be available for the 2022 declaration period that will start January 2023.
  • This temporary exemption was originally put into place for four years to give strata owners time to work with their strata to change their rental restrictions, rent their strata property, sell their strata property or use their strata property as a principal residence.

What does this mean:

  • Property owners may still be eligible for an exemption from the SVT. Go to gov.bc.ca/spectax for information on exemptions.
  • If the owner is not eligible for an exemption they will be liable for the tax.
  • The tax rate varies based on whether the owner is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, or a satellite family.
  • The SVT tax rate is:

If you have questions about your property and this exemption, you can call us at:

  • 1-833-554-2323 toll-free
  • 1-604-660-2421 if you’re outside North America
  • 711 across B.C. for Telephone Device for the Deaf (TDD) services for the hearing impaired

Agents are available to take your call from 8:00am to 5:00pm Pacific Standard Time, Monday to Friday.

TDD service hours are 8:00am to 5:00pm Pacific Standard Time, Monday to Friday.

Strata Corporations and the Most Recent Public Health Order - December 2021

Strata corporations continue to have to navigate Covid related restrictions. The most recent Provincial Health Officer’s Order issued December 22, 2021 (the “PHO Order”) has again changed how those restrictions apply to strata corporation settings. (Additional regional restrictions exist in certain areas such as Fraser East and Northern Health). (PDF)

Strata Corporations - Use of Electronic Meetings extended

Effective December 20, 2021 the Province extended strata corporations’ ability to hold electronic meetings, without a strata bylaw, beyond December 31, 2021. This new extension will be in effect until December 31, 2022 unless the COVID-19 Related Measures Act is repealed before then. Thus, strata corporations are encouraged to adopt strata bylaws allowing electronic meetings if they wish to continue having that option.  

Updated strata housing information related to the Province’s Restart Plan and COVID-19 is also available at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/strata-housing/covid-19-and-strata-housing/covid-19-information-for-strata-housing.

Strata Corporations and Vaccine Passports

Update from Shawn Smith, Cleveland Doan (pdf)

2022 Maximum Allowable Rent Increase: 1.5%

British Columbia's maximum allowable rent increase amount for 2022 is being set at 1.5%, based on inflation.

 

New CRMA Regulation - Remote Strata Meetings

Please note the new regulation under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act related to strata meetings is now in force. As of July 9, 2021, BC Reg 181/2021 permits all stratas in British Columbia to conduct remote meetings, including annual and special general meetings, until December 31, 2021 regardless of strata bylaws. BC Reg 181/2021 has not yet been posted on the BC Laws website, but you will be able to find it here once it becomes publicly available.

https://www.bclaws.gov.bc.ca/civix/document/id/regulationbulletin/regulationbulletin/2021cumulati

2021 Japanese beetle eradication effort in Vancouver BC - Update

Due to the efforts of many stakeholders – the number of Japanese beetles has dropped from approximately 8,276 beetles to 214 beetles between 2018 and 2020. The 2020 result represents an 82% reduction in captures from 2019. Treatment is working as are the efforts of landscapers and building managers to comply with the movement restrictions for soil and plant waste leaving Vancouver.

But we still need to get to zero beetles for 2 years in a row to declare it eradicated. Details on how you can help can be found here: www.inspection.gc.ca/jb

Insurance

New regulations relating to strata insurance

Following up on Bill 14, Municipal Affairs and Housing Statutes Amendment Act (No. 2), 2020, Government has issued an Order in Council (OIC) with new regulations under the Financial Institutions Act.

Referral payments respecting strata property insurance

The OIC brings into force changes to section 178 of the Financial Institutions Act (FIA), enacted this summer.  The amendments prohibit the payment of referral fees or any other kind of compensation to property managers or anyone else who is not an insurance licensee for the sale or renewal of strata property insurance.

Notification Period for Change/Non-renewal of Existing Insurance Policy

The OIC also makes changes to the Marketing of Financial Products Regulation, made under the FIA, including changing the name of the regulation to the Financial Products Disclosure Regulation (FPDR).  In instances where strata property insurance will not be renewed or will not be renewed at the same terms and conditions, the regulations will require that insurers provide clients with a notice and/or the proposed terms and conditions a minimum of 30 days prior to the expiration of their existing insurance.  

If the insurer provides notice and terms to the agent instead, they must do so a minimum of 45 days prior to the expiry of the existing insurance; the agent is then responsible to provide the terms and conditions or notification of non-renewal to the client a minimum of 30 days in advance of insurance expiry.

Disclosure of Broker Compensation

The amount of compensation involved in strata property insurance sales and renewals will now need to be disclosed to the strata corporation under the amended regulations.  Agents will now be required to disclose in writing the actual dollar amount of compensation they receive or, if that information is not available, an estimate of that amount and how it will be calculated. Where there is a material change to the policy terms, disclosure must be provided a minimum of 30 days prior to the expiry of the existing strata contract.

The prohibition on payment of referral fees takes effect immediately and the new FPDR disclosure requirements will come into effect November 1, 2020.

Questions on these new regulations should be directed to the Financial and Corporate Sector Policy Branch in the Ministry of Finance at [email protected].

Al's Almanac

Almanac #105 - June 2022

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