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 a business licence. A homeowner or primary resident can legally rent their principal residence (or a bedroom within their residence) for periods of less than 30 days in certain zones in the city, as per Section 9.17 of the Zoning Bylaw. Select tourist areas will continue to allow short-term rentals outside of an operator’s principal residence.
By licensing your short-term rental and following regulations, you're helping limit negative impacts to the long-term rental market, ensuring your accommodation is a good neighbour, and supporting equity among all short-term accommodation providers.
Annual business licences for short-term rentals cost $345 for principal residences and $750 for non-principal residences. These fees reflect the cost of implementation and compliance oversight activities. Short-term rental operators are required to renew their licence annually and ensure all documentation is accurate and up-to-date for the new year. Renewal notices will be mailed in early December, and licence fees are due by Jan. 15 each year regardless of booking start dates.
How to apply for a short-term rental business licence
- Make sure you meet the eligibility requirements.
- Complete the following forms: short-term rental business licence application form, self-evaluation fire & safety form, good neighbour agreement form, strata consent form (if applicable).
- Submit a parking plan that meets parking requirements within Zoning Bylaw 8000 for short-term rentals in your zone.
- Prepare a fire and safety evacuation plan identifying the location of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers, fire exits, and sleeping units.
- TENANTS applying are required to provide the owner consent form.
- Apply for a business licence online or in-person at the Application Centre on the second floor of City Hall (please bring a piece of ID and general information about the business).
This process includes a waiting period of 2-5 weeks to receive a final review of the application after it is either submitted online or in person at City Hall. Please monitor the email you provided on your application for updates.
- The rental must be located in your principal residence if in a residential or mixed-use commercial zone
- Renting a non-principal residence is allowed in select commercial and tourist areas. In this case, the short-term rental operator may not be a corporation or society. Contact information for the designated person responsible for overseeing the unit must also be provided upon application and posted within the accommodation.
- Short-term rentals are not allowed in secondary suites or carriage houses
- Obtain permission from your landlord, if applicable
- Ensure your strata bylaws allow short-term rentals, if applicable
- Parking must be available as per Section 8.1 of the Zoning Bylaw
- Annually renew your short-term rental business licence
- It is also recommended that you confirm your insurance policy allows for short-term rentals
|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|
|Parking||See Section 8, Table 8.3 of the Zoning Bylaw|
|Limited to operator's principal residence||Yes||Yes2||No|
|Business licence required||Yes||Yes||Yes|
1Parking can't 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 stall in total.
- List your business licence number in any listings advertising your rental
- Renew your business licence annually
- Rentals in residential, secondary use zones can't be licenced with a corporation or society as the operator.
- It's also recommended that you ensure your insurance policy allows for short-term rentals.
Your short-term rental application is required to include a parking plan that outlines and labels each parking stall to show that there is enough room to support a short-term rental, as well as any other uses, within your property lines.
Please note that driveways are permitted to have an access of six meters. If your driveway exceeds this requirement, we may request that landscaping be included to comply before we continue with your short-term rental application.
This parking plan is to be provided on an aerial view photo or site plan. Our map viewer provides the option to aerial view your property as well as to draw and measure stalls. Most zones require two principal residence stalls and one guest stall per every two bedrooms applied for. Please note that multi-family buildings only require one parking stall in total for each short-term rental application.
Parking stall sizes
The first principal residence parking stall is required to have a minimum length of 6.0 meters, minimum width of 2.5 meters, and a minimum height clearance of 2.0 meters. The remaining parking stalls for the second principal residence stall, short-term rental stalls, secondary suite/carriage house stalls have the following requirements: minimum length of 4.8 meters, minimum width of 2.3 meters, and a minimum height clearance of 2.0 meters.
Please note that where a parking space meets an obstruction (including but not limited to columns, property lines, curbs, walls, pipes, roof features, fences, and emergency exit painted areas) the parking space will follow the following regulations:
- Be an additional 0.2 m wider where the parking space abuts an obstruction on one side;
- Be an additional 0.5 m wider where the parking space abuts an obstruction on both sides; and
- Be an additional 0.8 m wider where the parking space abuts a doorway.
Parking configuration diagrams
Click on the links below to view acceptable and unacceptable parking configurations, and an example parking plan. Refer to the legend below for help viewing the charts. Use our map viewer to help create your parking plan.
- Acceptable parking configurations for a house with a secondary suite OR carriage house OR short-term rental
- Acceptable parking configurations for a house with a secondary suite OR carriage house AND short-term rental
- Unacceptable parking configurations for a house with a secondary suite OR carriage house AND short-term rental
- Example parking plan
SFD= Single Family Dwelling
SS= Secondary Suite
CH= Carriage House
STR= Short Term Rental
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 an accessible, working fire extinguisher on each 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 no 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.
You are required to post a fire and safety plan at entrances and exits and in each approved bedroom. The fire safety plan will include the following information.
- Operator’s name
- Address of the property
- Emergency contact (name and number of the responsible person who is locally available 24/7 to address immediate concerns)
- Emergency contact number (911)
- Designated meeting point
- Location of fire extinguisher
- 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.
Licensing your short-term rental and following regulations helps us balance impacts to the housing market and to neighbourhoods. Protecting the long-term rental market, ensuring short-term rental accommodations are good neighbours, ensuring fairness among short-term rental providers, as well as cost recovery for compliance needs, are all considerations in the regulations and licensing process.
- 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 licensing 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
- 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. View the Good Neighbour Bylaw to 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 about garbage, recycling and yard waste options.
Direct any nuisance complaints to Bylaw Services at 250-469-8686. If you're aware of a short-term rental business operating without a licence, contact our Licensing Branch at email@example.com.
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.
|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|