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Home » New Rules in Town: What BC’s Short-Term Rental Changes Mean for You

New Rules in Town: What BC’s Short-Term Rental Changes Mean for You

May 7, 2024

Big changes are afoot as of May 1st, with new regulations impacting short-term rentals across British Columbia. If you're curious about what this means for Kelowna and West Kelowna, we've got you covered with a friendly breakdown of the key points:

Home Sweet Home: Short-term rentals are now limited to your principal residence, and yes, you'll need a license to host.

Kelowna’s Tight Squeeze: With a vacancy rate dipping below 3%, Kelowna isn't issuing new licenses at the moment. Meanwhile, West Kelowna, where the vacancy rate is a bit more relaxed (above 3%), is still welcoming new applications.

Special Exceptions: Properties like Barona Beach, the Cove, Case Loma, and La Casa in West Kelowna, along with any homes on indigenous lands, are exempt from these rules.

Before these rules were announced, Kelowna was home to around 2,400 short-term rental units. Of these, about 500 are in principal residences with existing licenses, so they can keep on operating as usual.

What’s the Big Picture?

A Housing Needs Assessment in 2023 highlighted a significant shortage, pointing to a need for between 3,700 and 5,000 more homes in Kelowna. Looking ahead, we'll need about 26,000 new homes by 2031 to meet the growing demand. Last year, the city green-lit construction for 3,934 residential units, though not all have broken ground yet due to various factors.

Right now, there are 2,523 residential properties up for grabs in the Central Okanagan, showing a market that's bustling and vibrant, closely aligning with pre-pandemic levels.

Looking Ahead

It’s still early days, so the full impact of these new rental rules is yet to unfold. The single-family home market hasn’t skipped a beat, but the condo scene, especially in Kelowna, might see some shifts. Several new rental buildings and developments that were once zoned for short-term rentals might need to adjust their strategies.

Noteworthy buildings like Playa del Sol, Sunset Waterfront Resort, and Caban, which were previously zoned for short-term rentals, have expressed concerns about the new regulations.

We're keeping an eye on all these developments and are here to help you navigate these changes. Got questions or concerns? Drop us a line anytime!

For more details, do check out the BC Government's Short Term Rental Accommodation Act.

Warm regards,

Tamara and Shannon


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