Upset by new STR rules

Re. Poll question: Do you think the province's ban on short-term rentals will hurt tourism in B.C.? (Castanet, Feb. 24)

Absolutely, this will negatively affect Kelowna and its economy.

As an owner of a short-term rental in the Playa del Sol (resort development) I’ve had several tourists contact me asking where are they supposed to go? They will not pay $500 per night for a hotel with limited amenities and if they cannot rent my unit, they, along with many family members, will not come to Kelowna this year.

Another questionable action is the allowance of other cities, such as Revelstoke, Golden, Valemont and others to be exempt.

Kelowna is hugely dependant on tourism and there will be very few options for accommodations. Students will also be affected as many STRs are only short-term for the three summer months, then the remaining nine months are rented to students at a very fair rate. The lack of high income in the three summer months will not allow owners to rent to students at a lower rate because they will have to significantly raise rents to average out income to cover property costs.

I have worked very hard to acquire a short-term rental property like Playa, which was built as an STR (development), came furnished and can be managed by a rental pool. When I bought my property, it was purchased for short-term rentals.

The fact that we allow the government to dictate what we do with our own property in regards to renting is ridiculous. It’s a violation of our basic property rights. This has all been done in the name of our great housing shortage.

So, if I’m being told by our government it is now my responsibility as a Canadian citizen and taxpayer to help fix this problem, even if it means I may lose tens and possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars or even lose my property I worked so hard for, do I not have the right to ask one question?

How are we bringing in 500,000 immigrants into Canada when we don’t have enough housing for our current residents? I’m all for immigration when it contributes to our country’s economy and well being of our current citizens but when it causes a problem such as more people than there are homes for, and the government forces me to donate my property to help fix a problem they were too shortsighted to see coming, then that’s a problem for everyone.

Short-term rentals like mine and others in Kelowna are not causing home shortages. It doesn’t help the matter but forcing laws that prevent properties from doing what they wee intended for at the expense of hard-working, middle-class citizens. It doesn’t pass the risk-reward test, no matter how you spin it.

I’m a 43-year-old father of three and a devoted husband. I’ve worked my whole life and continue to do so as an electrician. I’ve always tried to teach my children, along with any young worker

out there, that if you work hard, keep your nose clean and keep a good attitude you can get ahead in this life.

Laws like this and many others are sending the wrong message to today’s youth. I hope people start voicing their opinions and standing up for what’s right because it’s not necessarily the people doing the wrong things who will ruin a country, it’s those who stand by and let it happen.

Zane Gold

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