Fines for breaking Kelowna’s short term rental bylaws will start in summer

If you’re renting out a suite and you’re not licensed, you may face upwards of $10,000 a day in fines.

Fines and fees related to the City of Kelowna’s short-term rental bylaws are going toward the cost of managing the burgeoning industry.

Greg Wise, the city’s business licence manager, told council Monday that plans to implement licensing fees of $345 for principal residences and $750 for secondary homes as well corresponding fines as high as $10,000 for those who don’t comply with bylaws will simply be used as a tool to recoup costs already stacking up due to the rentals.

“Bylaw has responded to several hundred complaints with noise issues and the frequency of complaints is increasing,” said Wise.

“Licensing fees are a cost-recovery model, ensuring no cost (to taxpayers).”

The fees will cover the cost of an additional licensing officer and an administrative person who will process short-term rental licences, among other things.

It could also pay for some of the costs for bylaw officers.

While a fee and fine structure could be approved as soon as next month, the city intends to take a slow approach to implementation, focusing on education for a period of time in advance.

“When did (things) change that it was required to have a strong enforcement mandate?” Coun. Ryan Donn asked Wise.

Wise pointed out that it’s been like that from the get-go.

“Low licensing fees are not enough. We’ve currently got over 2,000 units out there operating contrary (to proposed bylaws) and they’re all well aware that’s the case,” he said.

“There’s significant motivation for people with multiple properties to receive significant income from this and we will not move toward licensing them without some form of compliance.”


Regulations, which will go to public hearing March 12, allow licensed property owners to rent out a room in their principal residence as long as they live in that home at least eight months of the year.

Short-term rentals wouldn’t be permitted in investment properties, secondary suites or carriage houses, with a few exemptions.

Condo developments that have already been approved for short-term rentals will be grandfathered in, but limitations will apply going forward.

Late last year, Airbnb produced a report about wine regions indicating that 125,900 Airbnb guests a year arrive in the area to enjoy “wineries that range from small family-owned operations to large world-class facilities.”

The average Airbnb host charges $141 US a night, amounting to an average yearly income of $4,300 US. The total number of dollars earned in the Okanagan through Airbnb hosting is $16,700,000 US.

The average length of stay in the valley is 2.69 days and the average Airbnb renter hosts for 30 days a year.

The public is invited to comment on the proposed regulations at a public hearing on Tuesday, March 12, 6 p.m., at the council chambers. Written feedback may be submitted by 4 p.m., Monday, March 11, either by email to or by letter to the Office of the City Clerk, 1435 Water St., Kelowna, BC V1Y 1J4.

For more information about the proposed short-term rental regulations and the Healthy Housing Strategy, visit

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

Second Vernon-area high school exposed to COVID-19

Kalamalka Secondary School staff, students urged to self-isolate if showing symptoms

Significant snowfall forecast for Interior mountain passes

Allison Pass, the Okanagan Connector, Rogers Pass and Kootenay Pass could see 15 to 25 cm of snow

COVID-19: Changes at Knox Mountain, Canyon Falls, park washrooms in Kelowna

Park washrooms open with extra cleaning on April 1; Knox Mountain Drive, Canyon Falls remain closed

Community newspapers bring people together in time of isolation

Black Press offices have been receiving calls of support, appreciation

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Corona Busters’: Vernon man drives vintage ambulance in appreciation of health-care workers

Rob Newport says he aims to make people smile during the COVID-19 pandemic with Ghostbusters-themed ride

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam; cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

Most Read