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Kelowna's Short Term Rentals Landscape

February 16, 2024 by Clay Williams, Russell Tse, Tanvir Gill

kelowna law firm

If you own property in Kelowna or love visiting the Okanagan, listen up. The government's new legislation is reshaping what short-term rentals will look like, and it's crucial to understand the ins and outs:

Principal Residence:

Simply put, it's where you hang your hat most days of the year. Think of it as your official home base, the address on your driver’s license, and where your bills land.

Homeowners: You're set to say goodbye to renting out your second home for a quick buck. From May 2024, only your primary pad can play host to short-term guests.

Visitors: Your options for a weekend getaway spot might shrink, but those that remain promise to be genuine slices of local life.

Secondary Use:

This is about the extra living space on your property. Like a cozy garden suite or a chic carriage house.

Homeowners: If you've got a license already, you're in the clear and can continue hosting. Thinking of jumping into the game? The window's closed for new applications.

Visitors: Get ready for unique stays that feel more like home - because they are someone's home, just with a little more heart.

"Imagine having a wedding, how many people would then have to be shuffled around to a hotel?”

~ Tanvir Gill, Associate

It's a stark illustration of the potential shake-up for not just homeowners but entire communities reliant on tourism.

The Impact:

For the Community:

Preserving Local Living: With STRs now limited to principal residences, Kelowna aims to maintain its community feel, keeping neighbourhoods from turning into transient hubs.

Visitor Experience: Tourists might miss out on some premium locations for STRs but can look forward to more authentic stays in actual residents' homes.

For the Economy:

Hotel Sector: With the reduction in private rental availability, hotels could see a rise in demand—a potential economic shift favouring traditional lodging.

Rental Market Dynamics: The private rental sector may see a downturn, affecting those who rely on income from such properties.

For the Market:

Rental Market Relief: By converting STRs into long-term rentals, the hope is to alleviate the housing shortage and stabilize the rental market.

New Complexities: Homeowners with secondary properties previously used for STRs will need to navigate new regulations and potential fines.

For homeowners It's time to reevaluate your rental strategy; for visitors, prepare for a more immersive local experience. And for both, keep an eye on the evolving real estate landscape in beautiful Kelowna. The takeaway here, as noted in the podcast, is that "Come May, if you're confused about whether you're on the right side or wrong side of this, give us a call"

Whether you're assessing your property's eligibility for short-term rentals or need advice on compliance and licensing, Russell Tse and the team at FH&P Lawyers LLP are your go-to legal advisors in the Okanagan.

Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. Consult with a qualified lawyer for advice on specific legal issues.