SHORT TERM RENTALS SURVEY – DISTRICT OF INVERMERE
Over the last few years, the District of Invermere (the District) has heard some public concerns about the operation of Short-Term Rental accommodations (STRs) in the community. Before considering regulations to control or manage STRs the District wishes to consult with the public to learn more about the operation of STRs including identification of issues. Ultimately the District hopes to improve the operation of STRs. The survey linked to this website is intended to help collect comments from the public about the operation of STRs in Invermere. Based on the comments received, the District may decide to engage in more detailed public consultations about STRs.
Thank you for participating in the survey. Input from the public is vital to the District of Invermere Short Term Rental (STR) Work. Surveys are one of the best ways to collect public comments to help identify STR concerns.
Please note survey responses and comments will remain anonymous. If you have any questions about the survey, please leave your name and email address at the end of the survey.
Survey deadline: Tuesday October 12th, 2021.
The survey questions are based on those recently used by the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) in its STR survey. We wish to thank the RDEK for sharing this information with the District of Invermere. Please keep in mind that these are two entirely separate projects, by two different authorities. It should also be recognized that there are different housing needs and demands across the Region.
WHAT IS A SHORT-TERM RENTAL?
STR refers to the accommodation of paying guests in a dwelling; including, for example, a single-family dwelling, secondary suite, apartment, or condo / apartment for less than 30 days.
Shannon Jamison, Eric Swanson. Regulating short term rentals: a toolkit for Canadian local governments. Generation Squeeze, 2020. Available at: https://www.gensqueeze.ca/str_toolkit_2020
THE UPSURGE OF SHORT-TERM RENTALS
STRs are not new. People have been renting their homes, cottages, or cabins for decades. What is new is the online platforms and websites that promote the rental of these properties. This has caused a shift from traditional small scale “home-sharing” activity to more commercial rental operations. The expansion of STRs in Invermere has generated some potential benefits as well as concerns; some of which are outlined below.
- Income is generated not only for the property owner/s as well as for support workers such as cleaners, property managers, etc.
Higher housing values
- Current property owners may be able to benefit financially from higher housing values; however, this could also be considered a harm in communities facing housing affordability challenges.
- Greater accommodation choices for travellers and guests.
- Guests can benefit from having a more personalized experience.
- Opportunity to draw attract permanent residents if experience is more “local.”
- Quick, New Tourist Accommodation.
- STRs can add additional tourist accommodation without the need for development of major infrastructure such as hotels and roadways.
- Support for Local Tourism Economy.
- Attracting visitors to areas outside of traditional tourist areas may increase STR revenues in those areas.
- STRs have the potential to reduce the inventory of long term rental rooms and purchasable properties.
- STRs decrease housing affordability as it may become more scarce.
- STR operators are not subject to the same level of regulation or taxation as traditional accommodation providers.
- STR operators might not collect or remit local taxes.
- STR operators may draw guests away from traditional accommodations that do pay local taxes.
- Short term renters may not be invested in the community the same way that a long-term resident may be
- Guests may not be aware of local zoning, noise, parking, or garbage regulations
- Increased Contraventions of Local Regulations
- STR platforms create value from the use of residential housing and provide advertising. The owners of the house are therefore privileged in a way that traditional accommodation providers, such as Bed and Breakfast operators, may not be.
- Based on the responses received to the survey, Invermere Council may need to consider how the District can regulate short-term rental accommodation in Invermere in a clear, cost-effective, and practical manner.
HOUSING NEEDS ASSESSMENT
Earlier in 2021 the District of Invermere completed a Housing Needs Assessment in order to develop better understanding of the main housing challenges facing Invermere, and to learn about leading practices, tools, and strategies to help address housing needs and demands. Not surprisingly, the conversion of existing dwellings into short term rental (STR) units was identified as a challenge, and for aggravating some of the other housing challenges that exist in Invermere.
For reference, a copy of the Invermere Housing Needs Assessment report (2021) and summary (2021) can be viewed by using the following links: