Vacation rentals: ‘don’t be a pain in our neighbourhood’

Revelstoke Mayor Mark McKee isn't sure vacation rentals currently warrants higher policing and council has moved to work on a complaints only basis for now.

There's no shortage of vacation rentals in Revelstoke available online – legal and otherwise. Here, an Airbnb page displays some of the properties for rent short-term in Revelstoke. Photo: Screenshot of Airbnb website

Revelstoke City Council has approved a test period of six months to police illegal vacation rentals on a public complaint basis.

On Feb. 24, they debated whether to try to tackle all illegal rentals, or just go after ones that get public complaints.

Going after all known illegal vacation rentals would mean more staff time, money and possible legal expenses, councillors agreed.

So they opted to try out a complaints-based system in the coming months.

But not all councillors were 100 per cent behind the public complaints system.

“What I’m concerned about is that people that have gone to the trouble of applying [for vacation rental rezoning], are expecting that everybody should go through the proper process. If we don’t enforce that, are we encouraging them to be like those that don’t?” Councillor Connie Brothers asked.

“We have a bylaw and we should enforce it.”

Mayor Mark McKee was in favour of testing the water.

“I think that this approach is the right one today and I think that staff are going to be monitoring how this whole vacation rental is going.”

The number one key is, don’t be a pain to our neighbourhood,” McKee said.

The council is currently tailoring the SeeClickFix app for the Revelstoke community and it will have a feature for complaints of this nature.

Previous background story: City of Revelstoke plans crackdown on illegal vacation rentals, but how?