Some Penticton residents want crackdown on vacation rentals

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Some Penticton residents want crackdown on vacation rentals – Jun 20, 2017

Some Penticton residents are urging the City of Penticton to take further steps to regulate the explosion of vacation rentals in the summer tourist destination hot spot.

Amber Fradin launched an online petition calling for a cap on the number of vacation rentals allowed to operate within city limits after hearing from friends who experienced challenges finding affordable housing.

“I know so many families who don’t have housing. I know a family of five people who have been living in a fifth wheel for two years now because they can’t find affordable housing,” she said.

The number of short-term rentals in Penticton available on sites like AirBnB and VRBO has exploded in recent years.

120 vacation rental owners have been issued, or are in the process of obtaining, a business license, but that’s less than half the estimated number in operation.

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Penticton resident Jeff Leonard says he deals with constant noise and traffic from a suspected vacation rental next door.

He filed a complaint with the city last week.

“When I bought my house I didn’t buy a house next to a hotel for a reason because I really don’t want the noise,” he said.

City Hall recently took action to regulate short-term rentals..

Owners must pay an application fee, tourism fee and obtain a business license.

Operators are required to post their business license in a prominent location on the property.

There is also a maximum of two guests allowed per bedroom and a minimum of two parking spaces provided.

Penticton’s Development Services Director Anthony Haddad said vacation rentals benefit the tourism sector and property owners with supplemental income opportunities.

However, Haddad acknowledged short-term rentals take a bite out of the long-term rental housing stock.

“It obviously impacts that somewhat but it doesn’t reflect the amount of rentals that we actually have coming on the market over the next year or two as well,” he said.

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Those who don’t follow the rules could face daily fines, but for residents like Fradin, it doesn’t go far enough. “I thought something needs to be done,” she said.

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