New Short Term Rental Rules in Kelowna - Effective May 1, 2024

New Short Term Rental Rules in Kelowna - Effective May 1, 2024
April 23, 2024

The landscape of short-term rentals (STRs) in Kelowna, British Columbia, has undergone significant changes due to new provincial regulations implemented on May 1, 2024. This article details the key changes and their impact on Kelowna's STR market.

Principal Residence Requirement

The provincial government defines a "principal residence" as the dwelling an individual occupies for a longer period than any other place within a calendar year.


This requirement applies to all existing STR categories in Kelowna, including:

  • Principal use short-term rentals: Previously permitted rentals where the entire property functioned as an STR.
  • Secondary use short-term rentals: Existing rentals where a portion of the principal residence (e.g., a suite) was used for short-term stays.
  • Legally non-conforming short-term rentals: Existing rentals that didn't comply with previous zoning bylaws but were grandfathered in.
  • Secondary use exemptions: Kelowna allows STRs in secondary suites within a principal residence, provided they comply with the provincial principal residence requirement.
  • Ban on secondary use rentals: Entire home rentals (secondary use) are no longer permitted in Kelowna under these new regulations.

Changes to Existing STR Categories

  • Principal use short-term rentals: These are no longer permitted in Kelowna as they inherently violate the principal residence requirement. Existing operators may need to transition their properties to long-term rentals if they are not their principal residence.
  • Legally non-conforming short-term rentals: These previously allowed non-compliant properties can no longer operate as STRs since principal use STRs are no longer a permitted use in Kelowna's zoning bylaws.

Provincial Exemptions

The provincial legislation exempts specific types of accommodations from the principal residence requirement:

  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Recreational vehicles (RVs)
  • Tents and other temporary shelters
  • Some farm properties (Class 9)

It's important to note that local governments cannot grant site-specific exemptions. Property owners seeking exemptions must apply to the provincial government.

Kelowna Bylaw Updates

The City of Kelowna has updated its bylaws to align with the provincial regulations. These updates primarily focus on:

  • Removal of secondary use short-term rentals as a permitted use in all zones.
  • Adherence to the provincial principal residence requirement.


Considerations for Short-Term Rental Hosts

If you currently operate a short-term rental in Kelowna, it's crucial to take the following steps:

  1. Review the new regulations: Familiarize yourself with the provincial principal residence requirement and Kelowna's updated bylaws.
  2. Assess compliance: Determine if your existing STR complies with the new regulations.
  3. Seek guidance: Contact the City of Kelowna or a qualified professional for assistance in navigating the new regulations and ensuring compliance.

The new provincial regulations and Kelowna's bylaw updates significantly impact the short-term rental market in the city. Understanding these changes and taking necessary actions are crucial for STR operators to ensure continued compliance and avoid potential penalties.

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