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

A Salmon Arm artist worked with talented local fabricators to create an enormous set of steel bighorn sheep horns to greet visitors to Radium Hot Springs. (Village of Radium Hot Springs image)
Salmon Arm locals’ skills bring steel sheep horn sculpture to Radium

Adam Meikle and Idea 64 Projects made the towering horns a reality

Salmon Arm Silverbacks defenceman Kieran Ruscheinski (right) sticks close to Vernon Vipers forward Logan Lorenz during Salmon Arm’s 2-1 overtime win in B.C. Hockey League pod play Saturday, April 10, at Kal Tire Place. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)
Mack attack paces Salmon Arm Silverbacks past Vernon

Sullivan Mack scores both goals, including beautiful OT winner, in Gorillas’ 2-1 BCHL pod play win over Snakes

Machinery could be seen working to clear land behind a pair of houses on Main Street for the future site of the Shuswap and Secwepmc Healing Centre, a medical facility on Friday, April 9. The Sicamous Fire Department has been using the buildings for training exercises ahead of their demolition. (Jim Elliot/Eagle Valley News)
Snapshot: Clearing space

Land is being cleared for a new medical centre on Sicamous’ Main Street.

Winter driving conditions returned to the Coquihalla Highway on April 10. (ICBC image)
Coquihalla motorists warned of fresh snow

Five to 10 cm of snow is expected today for the mountain highway.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

A second case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Vernon’s BX Elementary School. (Kerry Hutter photo)
Second COVID case confirmed at Okanagan elementary school

Exposure at Vernon’s BX Elementary happened April 6 and 7

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

Highway 97 being converted to four lanes in April 1990. This photo taken in Lake Country. (Greater Vernon Museum and Archives Photo #14025)
HISTORY: How the old Highway 97 in Lake Country got new name

Pelmewash Parkway recognizes the First Nations history in Lake Country

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

Flight with COVID
Another Kelowna flight with COVID-19 exposure

Westjet flight on April 5 from Kelowna to Edmonton

Most Read