As of July 1, 2019, anyone operating a short term rental (AirBnb, VRBO, HomeAway, etc) within the City of Kelowna is required to have a short term rental license. In the City of Kelowna, short term rentals are defined as renting a residence for periods of 29 days or less. If you do not obtain the requisite license as of July 1, 2019, and continue to operate a short term rental, you may face fines up to $500.00 a day, per offence. Please note that at this time, the City of West Kelowna does not regulate short term rentals.
Only certain properties are eligible to receive a short term rental license. Eligibility is dependent on the zoning, composition and use of the property.
With the exception of the tourist commercial and health district, short term rental licenses are only granted to those short term rental operators who use the intended property as a principal residence which means, the individual seeking the license must reside at the property for at least eight months per year. An operator does not need to own the property to obtain a short term rental license. A tenant may apply and receive a short term rental license if the property is their principal residence and they have the necessary approval from the landlord. Further, properties within the rural and single/two-unit residential zones are prohibited from renting secondary suits or carriage homes. Essentially, you are prohibited from renting your vacation home or the basement suite of your principal residence in the City of Kelowna.
To determine the zoning of your property please visit City of Kelowna Map Viewer (https://maps.kelowna.ca/public/mapviewer/) and enter your civic address in the search bar located at the top right corner.
There are further eligibility requirements with respect to parking, bedrooms, bookings and safety. For example:
- Number of Bookings. Only one booking is permitted in a residence at a time.
- Number of Bedrooms. Eligible properties may have up to three bedrooms in the residence, with the exception of properties in the multi-unit residential & commercial zoning area, which are restricted to two bedrooms per residence.
- Adults per Bedroom. There is a maximum of two adults allowed per bedroom.
- Parking Spaces. There must be one parking space per two bedrooms (with some exceptions).
- Fire and Safety Plan. A fire and safety plan must be posted at each entrance and in each bedroom.
- Safety Measures. The property must have appropriate safety measures in place in the event of an emergency. For example, operators must install smoke alarms on each floor and in every sleeping unit and keep bedroom windows free of obstruction. For more information, please visit: https://www.kelowna.ca/business-services/permits-licences/business-licences/short-term-rentals.
To apply for a short term rental license, complete the Business License Application Form along with the supporting documentation and submit same to the City of Kelowna by visiting City Hall or via email. Once approved, the annual business license fee for a principal residence is $345.00 and $750.00 for a non-principal residence (tourist commercial and health district). Your business license number must be displayed in any listing advertising your rental.
Please note that this article provides a general overview of the eligibility requirements for obtaining and maintaining a short term rental license within the City of Kelowna. If you are intending to apply for a short term rental license or would like to know more information generally, I encourage you to contact the City of Kelowna Bylaw office or visit: https://www.kelowna.ca/business-services/permits-licences/business-licences/short-term-rentals. As mentioned, your eligibility to receive a short term rental license and the requirements of maintaining same are dependent on the specifics of your property, including the property’s composition, use and zoning.
In addition to obtaining a license, there are other important considerations to keep in mind before listing your property as a short term rental property. For more information on how short term rentals may impact the GST status of your home and how your home insurance policy may be affected by short term rentals, please see our blog article: “Short Term Rentals” http://touchstonelawgroup.com/kelowna-lawyers/short-term-rentals/.
For more information, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our lawyers practicing in the area of real estate law.
Author: Sasha Platz
This information is general in nature only. You should consult a lawyer before acting on any of this information. This information should not be considered as legal advice. To learn more about your legal needs, please contact our office at (250) 448-2637 or any of our lawyers practicing in the real estate at the following:
Una Gabie: firstname.lastname@example.org Jennette Vopicka: email@example.com Danielle (Dani) Brito: firstname.lastname@example.org Jane Otterstrom: email@example.com Sasha Platz: firstname.lastname@example.org