City of Powell River outlines short-term and vacation rental regulations

Information made available to assist property owners in renting out facilities

In order to operate a short-term rental or vacation rental facility in Powell River, operators will require City of Powell River business licensing by September 15 of this year.

At an information session held at Powell River Recreation Complex on Wednesday, May 22, senior planner Daniella Fergusson said it was an opportunity to let people know about new city bylaws pertaining to short-term rental or vacation rentals. It was also a chance for people to ask questions to help them get going on operating their rentals.

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“Our goal is to send people home with some business licence application forms,” said Fergusson. “That way, they have a couple of months to complete inspections and anything else they need to do to get in order.”

Powell River’s approach to short-term housing rentals has been to carry out an extensive public consultation process and come up with a bylaw that fits the community.

“This is a made in Powell River solution,” said Fergusson. “We are not copying anywhere else.”

Enforcement will begin on Monday, September 16. For unlicensed short-term rentals, there are fines and penalties that can be affected. Failure to comply may result in the suspension or cancellation of a business license and/or a fine.

For more information, readers can visit the city’s website, at powellriver.ca/pages/short-term-rentals. Documents are available to inform prospective licence holders about the short-term rental bylaw. Those with questions can also contact Fergusson directly at 604.485.8662, or dfergusson@powellriver.ca.

“We are open for business, for accepting business licence applications for short-term rentals and vacation rentals,” said Fergusson.

The city wants people to know that only 10 vacation rental licences will be made available. As of now, all 10 are available but they are processed on a first come, first served basis.

A vacation rental is characterized as a rental property that is not the operator’s primary residence; it’s not where the operator would get their homeowner grant.

Before people apply for a licence, they will be required to take several steps. These include proof of principal residence for short-term rentals. Applicants will also be required to provide proof of ownership, a floor plan and a fee of $180 for the licence for short-term rentals or a fee of $1,000 for vacation rentals.

There will also be a requirement for compliance with the BC Building Code and BC Fire Code. An inspection of the home is required by City of Powell River. The cost of the first inspection and follow-up visit is included in the business licensing fee.

Those granted a short-term or vacation rental business licence will receive a licence number, which must be clearly listed in advertising or listings for the rental.The applicant is required to prominently display the business licence and contact information for the person responsible for the rental during guest stays.

Licences expire on December 31 of each year and licence holders are responsible for renewing them prior to December 1. The licences are non-transferrable.

Short-term rentals or vacation rentals are characterized as a full suite, home or room rented for periods of fewer than 28 days at a time. They are permitted in the R1, R2, R3, RA1, A1 and A2 zones.

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