Campbell River has the lowest rental vacancy rate on Vancouver Island. Photo by Marc Kitteringham - Campbell River Mirror

Rental suite fee evicted in Vernon

Move made in hopes of building housing market, increasing vacancy

The cost of applying for a secondary suite licence is being cut in hopes that more rental units will be created.

Vernon council agreed to eliminate the $60 fee at its Monday, March 22 meeting.

“It has an overarching impact,” Coun. Kari Gares said. “It’s just one of those things that doesn’t need to be there.”

Since 2010, there have only been 210 secondary suite licenses issued, 135 of which are active, mainly because a number of landlords don’t bother registering their suites as they aren’t always up to code.

“We know there’s probably 2,000-plus suites,” said Gares.

By eliminating the fee, it’s hoped more homeowners will open up secondary suites.

“It’s addressing an emergency, which is a serious housing crisis,” Coun. Kelly Fehr said.

READ MORE: Finding a home ‘impossible’ in Vernon

But one councillor doesn’t see how the removal of this small fee will have any big impact on vacancy rates.

“I don’t think that’s going to increase the market,” Coun. Dalvir Nahal said.

In fact, she is more concerned about the impact this may have on the living conditions renters may be subject to.

“I can assure you that is happening right now, five people to one bedroom and a hot plate,” Nahal said.

“If anybody can have a basement suite who is going to be checking it?”

Having licensed suites allows bylaw to respond to complaints. But Nahal points out that complaints will still be investigated.

Nahal suggests the real change is needed at the provincial residential tenancy level to make it easier on homeowners who are sometimes deterred by bad tenant experiences.

“It’s easier to do an Airbnb than it is to have a tenancy,” said Nahal.

READ MORE: Coldstream called out for lack of rental housing


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

housing planrental market

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Black Crow Cannabis is just one of Vernon's many pot shops now open in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kelowna has highest cannabis fees in Okanagan

Vernon’s 14 stores pay second highest business licence fees

Serving alcohol has been altered in the Central Okanagan Public Schools policy regarding rental of school facilities for after-school hours events. (Contributed)
Alcohol option opened up at Central Okanagan school facilities rented for events

Central Okanagan Board of Education retains final approval for after-hours event approvals

Voting day for the upcoming Central Okanagan Board of Education by-election is June 26. (Contributed)
Central Okanagan school board election set for June 26

Kelowna voters will go the polls to fill vacant Kelowna trustee seat

Two bikes that were stolen after a West Kelowna parking garage was looted on April 3. Photo: Crime Stoppers Central Okanagan
Parking garage looted in West Kelowna

A car was broken into and six storage lockers were ransacked

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

Penticton bylaw officers tore down a “pretty significantly sized” homeless camp underneath the bridge near Riverside Drive Friday, April 16 morning. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton bylaw tears down ‘significantly sized’ homeless camp under bridge

Many residents had made complaints about the camp before it was torn down

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ford F-350s have been targeted in the North Okanagan by auto thieves since February 2021, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP data shows. (Gene J. Puskar - The Canadian Press/AP file)
Auto thieves target older Ford F-350s in Vernon: RCMP

Vernon Mounties remind all motorists no vehicle is immune to auto crime

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Most Read