There are several different types of residential zones in the Whistler area some of which allow the use of the property for short term/nightly rentals and some which only allow longer term rentals or employees.
These are properties such as single family homes, townhomes, duplexes and condominiums that are zoned for full time or part time residential use. These properties may only be rented for periods longer than 28 days at a time such as a month to month rental or yearly rental. Nightly (short term) rentals are prohibited in residential properties.
These properties are also known as “unrestricted” and are mostly townhomes and condominiums found in the Village areas. There are however also chalets in tourist specific areas which are zoned for nightly rentals including sections of Nicklaus North and Horstman Estates. There are no restrictions on owner usage and there is the ability to rent the property through a rental manager who handles all the details for marketing, renting and cleaning the property for times when the owner is not using their property. Owners also have the option to manage the rentals themselves in most cases. Phase One properties are the most flexible option for ownership and usage. The décor in each unit may be modified by the individual owner to suit their taste, whereas with Phase 2 – hotel properties (see below), the décor is standardized to the hotel operation and may not be altered.
These properties are also known as “restricted” and are apartment style condominiums incorporated into an ongoing hotel operation. Ie) Westin, Pan Pacific, Four Seasons, etc. The number of days that the owner is allowed to reserve for personal use of the condo is restricted to 28 days in the winter and 28 days in the summer. Owner reservations are pre booked on a 6 month calendar with some flexibility for short notice bookings in off seasons. The benefit to this style of property is that it is completely hands off with all furnishing, maintenance and rentals handled by the hotel manager. Other benefits include full service concierge, in house restaurants and hotel amenities (spa, pool, fitness facilities). Phase Two properties are best for the occasional visitor to Whistler or for the investor interested in rental income.
This type of ownership makes purchasing a property more affordable. Under this form of strata title ownership, the owner has registered title to a fraction of the interest in the property. These units have up to four owners and each owner is allotted one week per month on a yearly rotational calendar. If an owner chooses not to use their allotted week, they can rent the property through the management company and earn income on the rental.
While anyone may purchase an employee restricted property, these properties must be occupied by a full-time resident in Whistler, employed or retired. i.e.) an owner from outside of Whistler may rent the property out to a local resident. This type of property may not be used as a weekend home. Aside from who occupies the property, there are no other defining restrictions and no re-sale restrictions.
Employee Restricted properties are not to be confused with “subsidized housing” which is administered by The Whistler Housing Authority (WHA) and is not sold on the open market. WHA properties have price cap restrictions and are only available for purchase by full time residents who meet the WHA guidelines.