Vacation Rental Review


The Regional District will be reviewing its regulatory approach to short-term rental accommodations (i.e. "vacation rentals") in 2024 as a result of recent provincial legislative changes.  Information regarding this review is posted below.

What are Vacation Rentals?

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) zoning bylaws define a vacation rental as the use of a residential dwelling unit for the commercial accommodation of paying guests for a period of less than one month. Vacation rental use is not permitted within residential zones, with the exception of the Apex Mountain Resort area.

A vacation rental differs from a bed and breakfast operation (B&B) in that an owner/resident remains living in a dwelling where B&B patrons are staying. In a vacation rental, the owner/resident of the dwelling is generally not present during the patrons' stay and the whole house is available for use.

Some local governments use the term ‘short-term rental’ (e.g. Summerland) while others use ‘vacation rental’ (eg, Penticton, Oliver, and the RDOS). These terms are generally interchangeable unless otherwise defined within a zoning bylaw.

Other regional districts, such as the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District and the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District also use Temporary Use Permits to regulate vacation rentals.  Some local governments do not regulate vacation rentals at all (e.g. Princeton).

How are vacation rentals currently regulated within RDOS?

Since 2014, the Regional District has regulated vacation rentals through a combination of zoning controls (e.g. vacation rentals are prohibited in almost all zones, with the exception of those found at Apex Mountain Resort) and permitting requirements.

In order to operate a vacation rental outside of the Apex Mountain Resort area, a Temporary Use Permit (TUP) authorizing the use of a property for short-term tourist accommodation must be approved by the Regional District Board.

This permit will typically contain a number of conditions related to:

  • maximum occupancy;
  • period of operation (e.g. May to September); and
  • contact details for a site manager in the event of noise, property maintenance, or related issues.

When submitting a TUP application, the property owner must meet several criteria by proving adequate water and sewage capacity on site, providing screening or fencing to help block nuisances for neighbours, providing one (1) off-street parking spot per bedroom, and applying for a health and safety inspection to make sure the space meets the building code.

There are also several opportunities for public engagement when a new TUP application is being processed:

  • the applicant must post a development sign on the property;
  • the application, along with the details and feedback form, are posted on RDOS website;
  • a public information meeting is advertised and held. Anyone in attendance may ask questions and provide feedback;
  • letters are sent to all neighbours within 100 m of the proposed TUP.

If approved, an initial vacation rental TUP is for one full season, up to a maximum of 18 months. Subsequent application(s) to renew the TUP are reviewed with consideration of how the first season was operated.

Why use Temporary Use Permits?

Regional Districts, unlike municipalities, are not authorized under the Local Government Act to issue business licenses. The TUP is a tool for regional districts to regulate and manage activity not normally permitted within a zoning designation. Many vacation rentals are operated within residential zones. **(NOTE added November 20, 2023: Recent legislative changes to the Local Government Act now permit Regional Districts to do business licensing. The RDOS is not issuing business licenses at this time, however, that could change in the future).

What are some of the challenges with vacation rentals?

In some instances, a vacation rental may not even be noticed by neighbours. In other cases, concerns have been raised about the impact of vacation rentals on noise, housing affordability, availability of year-round rental accommodation, enforcement, and neighbourhood character.

While the RDOS does have a permitting process in place, a large number of vacation rentals appear to be operating without a TUP. Currently, there is no proactive enforcement of these vacation rentals.

Amendment Bylaw Status

Draft DocumentsPublic EngagementRegional District Board Consideration

Draft Amendment Bylaw:

To be determined


Other Documents:

Short-Term Rentals: Policy Guidance for BC Local Governments (December 2023) 


TUP Statistcis (2022)

TUP Statistics (2023)


Business Licencing Workshop (2024):

Administrative Report

PowerPoint Presentation

Minutes (2024-05-09)


Principal Residence Requirement "Opt-in" (2024):

Administrative Report

Minutes (2024-01-18)


Administrative Report

Minutes (2024-02-08)


No Report

Minutes (2024-02-22)


Administrative Report

Minutes (2024-03-21)


Septic Compliance Requirements (2022):

Administrative Report

Minutes (2022-03-03)


Application Fee Review (2021):

Administrative Report

Minutes (2021-09-23)



To be determined



Community Survey (2023):

Adminisrative Report 

Summary Results

Summary Results (TUP Holders)

Results - Area "A"

Results - Area "B"

Results - Area "C"

Results - Area "D"

Results - Area "E"

Results - Area "F"

Results - Area "G"

Results - Area "H"

Results - Area "I"

Results - Other Areas

Minutes (2023-03-16)


Bylaw Introduction (1st & 2nd reading):

Administrative Report




Public Hearing:

Public Hearing Report



3rd Reading:

Administrative Report




Administrative Report