Nelson City Council Discusses Pending Short-Term Rental Changes

Nelson City-Hall

Nelson City Council was recently briefed on new provincial framework that aims to tighten the rules on short-term rentals and address a lack of long-term rental capacity.

The topic of short-term rentals have recently been discussed a number of times in Council Chambers in Rossland, Nelson and other Kootenay communities.

Nelson currently has two categories: standard short term rentals of which there are currently 127 licenses, plus tourist accommodations of which there are 36 this year.

Planner Valerie Berthier explains that because of this, pending provincial changes will impact tourist accommodation licenses differently based on municipal policy in Nelson.

Click here to find the presentation marking differences between policies in both categories.

Click here to read the province’s announcement highlighting changes to come.

Berthier says the City has a system that monitors the web for short-term rental listings, adds them to a database and checks for compliance:

“At the time of this report there were actually eight non-compliant listings that were identified and we had contacted all the owners and we were working towards compliance with them. So I think the compliance rate was 94% which I think is pretty good.”

Berthier adds that the City will work to ensure these changes don't sneak up on anybody:

“We want to make sure everyone is aware of the upcoming legislation. In terms of how we’re going to issue the 2024 licence, I think what we can do is issue a conditional license, so until these requirements are in effect or until we have the clarification we need to really know….”

Nelson currently has a 110-lisence quota for annual short-term rental licenses, which currently stand at 101 listings. There is also a 40-lisence quota for four-month licences of which there are 24.

Next steps for the City include communication to current license holders and providing feedback to the province.

The Province’s timeline states increased fines and tickets, as well as business licensing authority for regional districts would come into effect immediately once the bill is passed.

A principal residence requirement would become active May 1st, data sharing in summer 2024, and then the launch of a provincial registry would go late next year.