Rethink city rental plan

I urge Kelowna council to reconsider the proposed short-term rental accommodations bylaws.

I am a homeowner, landlord, and that “responsible person" investors partner with to advertise their homes on the short-term marketplace.

I find city staff and council have proposed an unbalanced approach, and I doubt these very restrictive regulations will help improve housing availability and affordability.

I don't believe short-term rentals threaten the security of tenancies, and I would like to argue that the short-term rental market has not impacted long-term rental stock in Kelowna. Over the past year, there has been a massive improvement in the city's vacancy rate, while more short-term rentals continued to enter the marketplace.

Driving around the city, it is apparent we could soon be oversaturated with rental stock, and landlords cannot be left with no other options to rent their homes when the market weakens. These regulations leave no flexibility to adapt to the vacancy rate.

I understand council's concerns regarding approving secondary suites to stabilize and protect the long-term stock and their concern of seeing some of them move to short-term, but please understand that not all landlords want to take on the responsibility of the short-term market. We won’t be seeing a flood of secondary homes leaving the long-term rental pool.

I own what the city’s Healthy Housing Strategy considers a property in short supply. I have a beautifully appointed three-bedroom, two-bathroom townhouse, centrally located, that allows multiple pets. It has been vacant for the past two months between tenancies.

In order to offset my losses, I offer this home on the short-term market in between tenants.

Your proposed regulations would mean my rental would not qualify for any amount of short-term rentals, leaving me to reconsider my investments in the community I love.

Deana Steele, Kelowna

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