New bylaws to allow and regulate short-term rentals in Kelowna are now in effect, and anyone operating a short-term rental must apply for and be issued a business licence by July 1, 2019. Under the new rules, a homeowner or primary resident can legally rent their principal residence for periods of 29 days or less. Select tourist areas will continue to allow short-term rentals outside of an operator’s principal residence.
A separate bylaw allowing short-term rentals in secondary suites and carriage houses was not adopted at the public hearing on May 21, 2019. Regulations remain the same as those originally implemented in April.
Get a short-term rental business licence
To operate a short-term rental, you must display your business licence number in any listings advertising your rental. The licence and fee is renewed and paid annually.
- Check the eligibility requirements, below.
- Complete a Business Licence Application Form and supporting documents, including a Self-evaluation Fire & Safety Form, Good Neighbour Agreement Form, Parking Plan, principal residence status documentation (if applicable), ownership verification documentation OR Owner Consent Form, and Strata Consent Form (if applicable).
- Apply for a business licence by email (email@example.com) or in person at City Hall. Staff will then follow up with you with payment instructions.
- Receive approval and follow the rules and regulations.
Business licence fees reflect the cost of implementation and compliance oversight activities.
|Zone category||Principal residence use only1|
|Rural & single/two-unit residential2||Yes3|
|Tourist commercial & health district6||No|
1"Principal residence" means the place you live for at least eight months per year.
2Relevant zones: RR1, RR2, RR3, RU1, RU2, RU3, RU4, RU5, RU6, RH1, RH2, HD3, CD2, CD4, CD10.
3Not currently allowed in secondary suites or carriage houses.
4Relevant zones: RU7, RM1, RM2, RM3, RM4, RM5, RM6, RH3, HD3, CD1, CD2, CD3, CD4, CD5, CD10, CD17, CD22, CD26, CD27.
5Relevant zones: C3, C4, C5, C6, C7, C8, CD18 (McKinley Beach – all but Hilltown), CD24 (Hiawatha – Area B).
6Tourist commercial: C9, parts of CD18 (McKinley Beach – Hilltown only) & CD24 (Hiawatha – Area A only). Health district: HD2.
|Regulation||Rural & single/two-unit residential||Multi-unit residential & commercial||C9, HD2, parts of CD18 & CD24|
|Maximum # of adults per bedroom||2||2||2|
|Maximum # of bedrooms||3||2||3|
|Maximum # of bookings at a time||1||1||1|
|Minimum # of parking spaces||1 per 2 bedrooms||1 per 2 bedrooms1||Same as apartment housing|
|Limited to operator's principal residence||Yes||Yes2||No|
|Business licence required||Yes||Yes||Yes|
1Not in addition to principal dwelling unit if unit has two parking spaces. Parking cannot be required visitor parking.
2RM6 properties along Sunset Drive and properties that previously legally operated a vacation rental in the RM6, C4, or C7 zones under the apartment hotel use are not restricted to renting only in an operator's principal residence.
Example: If you live in a single detached house in the RU1 zone, you could rent up to three bedrooms to up to six adults under one booking. You would need to provide two parking spaces specifically for the short-term rental, in addition to the other required parking for your house. In a multi-unit residential building, you could rent up to two bedrooms to up to four adults under one booking. You would need to provide one extra parking space; or, if your unit already has two designated parking spaces, you wouldn’t need to provide additional parking.
- List your business licence number in any listings advertising your rental.
- Renew your business licence annually.
- Rentals in residential, secondary use zones cannot be licenced with a corporation or society as the operator.
It is also recommended that you ensure your insurance policy allows for short-term rentals.
Your short-term rental accommodation must have appropriate safety measures in place to protect guests in the event of an emergency. The following requirements must be met:
- Provide contact information for someone who is available to respond to incidents 24/7.
- Post a fire and safety evacuation plan in sleeping units and at exits.
- Install working, connected smoke alarms on each floor and in every sleeping unit.
- Install an accessible, working fire extinguisher on each floor.
- If your property contains gas appliances, ensure there is a working carbon monoxide detector on every floor.
- Test annually, and maintain in working order, all smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Bedroom windows are to open without obstruction. For bedrooms without sprinkler systems, the window opening cannot be less than 0.35 m2 (3.8 sq ft) with no dimension less than 380 mm (15 inches). Where a window opens into a window well, a clearance of not less than 760 mm (18 inches) shall be provided in front of the window. There should be no security grilles that require keys, tools or special knowledge of the opening mechanism. Rooms found not to meet window requirements are not be used for sleeping accommodation.
It is also required that you post a fire and safety plan at entrances and exits and in each approved bedroom. The fire safety plan will include the following information. An example fire and safety plan can be found in the operator's guidebook.
- Operator’s name
- Address of the property
- Emergency contact (name and number of the responsible person who is locally available 24 hours a day to address immediate concerns)
- Emergency contact number (911)
- Designated meeting point
- Location of fire extinguisher and smoke/carbon monoxide alarm(s)
- Location of window exits of code-approved size
We actively work to ensure short-term rental operators comply with rules and regulations. Operators may face fines of up to $500 per day, per offence, and significantly higher amounts if compliance efforts require escalation.
- Operating without a valid business licence.
- Operating contrary to zoning restrictions.
- Listing or advertising a short-term rental without displaying a valid business licence.
- Listing or advertising a short-term rental exceeding approved bedroom count on business licence.
- Operating a short-term rental in a home that is not your principal residence if required by zone.
- Operating in an unsafe or nuisance property.
- Refusing entry for inspection by a Licence Inspector or City representative.
Operators exceeding licencing requirements or restrictions, and those with repeat offences, may be subject to
escalated prosecution and higher fine amounts per offence per day.
The City actively inspects short-term rentals. Operators must provide access to their short-term rental
accommodation for the City to inspect, upon request.
Operators understand that City staff may:
- Audit short term rental licences and all required documentation;
- Request evidence that supports the information in a licence application;
- Request records of the short term rental bookings and operation dates; and/or
- Request records showing fire safety inspections and safety maintenance.
City bylaws ensure our community is a safe and enjoyable place for residents and visitors. Please ensure your guests are aware of the following rules, as well as any other rules set by your strata, if applicable.
Because many short-term rental properties are near other residential homes, please ensure your guests are considerate of the public and their neighbours at all times of day. Learn more.
Ensure your guests know where they can and can’t park. Guests must have access to a designated parking space, as per Section 4 of the Traffic Bylaw. Inform guests of any on-street parking time limits or restrictions.
Guests must control their dogs at all times and keep on a leash when outside, unless within a designated off-leash dog park. Guests must also pick up after their dog.
Garbage and recycling
Ensure guests have access to recycling and garbage bins. Learn more.
|Public opinion survey||Fall 2017|
|Council review of Guiding Principles & public survey results (July 16, 2018)||Summer 2018|
|Draft regulations, stakeholder engagement||Summer & Fall 2018|
|Staff policy recommendations (Dec. 3, 2018 & Feb. 25, 2019)||Winter 2018/2019|
|Council bylaw consideration (March 12 & April 8, 2019), public hearing||Winter-Spring 2019|
|Implementation & business licence intake||April 23, 2019|
|Staff policy recommendations: Secondary suites and carriage houses||May 6, 2019|
We prepared these regulations based on Council-endorsed guiding principles and in consultation with the public and stakeholders. The regulations aim to balance the interest in having short-term rentals in our community with measures that protect long-term rentals and limit impacts on neighbouring properties and uses.
- Ensure short-term rental accommodations do not impact the long-term rental housing supply in a negative way.
- Ensure short-term rental accommodations are good neighbours.
- Ensure equity among short-term accommodation providers.