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Airbnb Not Legal in Kelowna

Blog by | July 12th, 2017

Kelowna city council is expected to tackle the delicate issue of Airbnb's sometime later this year.

The short-term rental solution popular with vacationers or large groups looking to save money or enjoy a different travel experience, is illegal in most areas of the city.

City planner Ryan Smith says they are not legal within any single-family residential zones and most multi-family zones.

Short-term rentals (less than one month), are legal only within some commercial-mixed zones and high-density residential zones, such as the towers along Sunset Drive.

Information around Airbnb's was brought to council late last year, however, council asked staff to do more research and come back to council.

Smith says that is expected to happen sometime in the fall once other projects, such as the revamped sign bylaw, are complete.

Presently there are several hundred rental homes available on the Airbnb website, and several hundred more on Vacation Rentals By Owner.

The city has been receiving an increased number of complaints as more and more Airbnb properties spring up around the city.

In years past, Smith says they would receive 20 to 30 complaints a year to now, where the city has received 45 to 50 already in 2017.

"We know it's a concern for a lot of people in the community who are obviously impacted by having a vacation rental as a neighbour," said Smith.

"Sometimes it can be disruptive to the neighbourhood. So, we are also going to give council some type of recommendation that would allow them to become more regulatory, if they want to go down that path."

There are several hundred properties in Kelowna listed for rent on the Airbnb website.

Smith says staff may recommend a licencing scenario and a control over the number of licences available, but says that could be difficult from a regulatory and manpower perspective.

The City of Penticton has a licencing system in place which Smith says Kelowna may look at in crafting its own set or bylaws and regulations.

Alexandra Axsen 
Lake Okanagan Realty Ltd. 
Owner/Managing Broker
Tel: (250) 870-2792
Email: Alex@LakeOkanaganRealty.com