Survey shows residents beside short-term rentals in Vernon unhappy with experience

Not happy next door

A short-term rentals analysis prepared for Vernon council shows more than half of survey respondents who live beside such properties are unhappy with the experience.

The report notes 274 STR units listed on Airbnb and VRBO in Vernon.

It notes the number is likely larger, however, as not all short term rental units are advertised on these websites or online.

A May 2020 public survey that received 180 responses found almost 56% had either a 'bad' (30.4%) or 'extremely bad' (25.3%) experience living beside a short-term nightly rental.

The survey found 19% had a 'good' experience, 7.6% had a 'somewhat good' experience, and 17.7% said they had an 'extremely good' experience.

In 2021, there were 49 complaints related to short-term rentals, equal to just 1% of 6,000 total bylaw complaints received last year.

The City of Vernon has Good Neighbour Bylaw #4980 in place to address some of these complaints. ln addition, with a vacancy rate of 0.7 per cent in Vernon and rising rental unit prices, there is concern that the growing STR industry is reducing the availability of long term rental housing in the community.

Widely cited issues with STRs included parking, noise, safety and security, loss of community, and their impact on the availability of long-term rentals.

Six per cent of respondents wanted a full ban on short-term rentals, 9% wanted no regulation at all, and 30% were supportive of them, provided they are regulated by the city.

A community engagement process is proposed to begin next month, which would include a survey to stakeholders in the local tourism sector, including STR operators, as well as a digital open house for the general public.

Proposed bylaw amendments would be considered later this summer, with a public hearing proposed for September.

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