Group hopes to reduce short term rentals

Renters United Kelowna, an organization formed just this past weekend, hopes to prevent the number of short term rentals in the city from getting out of control.

With a vacancy rate of just 0.2 percent in Kelowna, they believe that more short term rentals means less space for long term renters.

The City recently approved the framework for some new restrictions on short term rentals: they’ll only be allowed in primary residences, with the exception of any commercial zone that allows hotels and motels.

“This is an extreme exception, and we want to get that stopped – that is untenable,” says co-founder Diane Varga. “We cannot have every residential tower in a downtown zone capable of becoming ‘Airbnb towers.’”

Varga says they plan on bringing their concerns to the City, starting with making an appearance at a rental public hearing Tuesday night.

Since its recent inception, Renters United Kelowna has been in talks with the Vancouver Tenants Union in hopes of establishing a working relationship down the line.