City Council to Consider Expanding Short Term Rental Regulations

Kelowna residents will have another chance to weigh in on short term rental regulations at the end of May.

After city council passed a bylaw to regulate short term rentals back in March, it was criticized for being too restrictive.

Now council is considering an amendment that would allow more residents to rent their properties.

However, the City is still tentative to approve short term rentals in secondary suites and carriage houses.

Councillors expressed concerns over the impact approving the amendment would have on the long term rental market.

Incentives are offered through the city’s policies and approval process, for those who enter a purpose built rental agreement, to exclusively operate long term rentals.

“The process has been made easier over time by removing the requirement to rezone for a secondary suite and keeping development cost charges really low for that type of unit so that they can be put in place. The requirement being that those be used for long term rentals," said Laura Bentley, Community Planning Supervisor.

According to Mayor Colin Basran, approving the amendment would put pressure on the purpose built rental housing market and possibly increase rent.

He said he is questioning where his vote will land.

The amendment reads: “The short-term rental operator must have their principal residence on that property, as either the tenant of the secondary suite or carriage house or the resident of the main house.”

According to Bentley, this does not mean tenants are authorized to rent out their space.

“If a tenant was looking to operate a short term rental they would need to provide owners authorization,” said Bentley.

The public will have the opportunity to voice their opinion at a public hearing on May 21st