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January 21, 2021, 12:28 pm

District of Squamish Begins Permitting and Licensing Short-Term Rental units

District of Squamish
SQUAMISH -The District of Squamish is moving forward with the permitting and licensing of Short-Term Rental (STR) units in Squamish. The District has launched STR Business Licence applications for residents wishing to apply to rent a portion of, or (temporarily) their entire Principal Residence, with Principal Residence defined as the home in which a person lives and conducts their daily affairs. The District has also launched a call for a limited number of Temporary Use Permit (TUP) applications that will allow STR use of non-principal residences such as secondary suites or accessory dwellings on a temporary basis (initial two-year term). Up to 30 STR Temporary Use Permits will be issued to successful applications received before the TUP application deadline of February 14. Application information is now live at squamish.ca/short-term-rentals

“It has been challenging to develop policy for Short-Term Rental accommodation for Squamish that balances all of the competing interests. Short-Term Rental regulations have been established to help protect the long-term rental housing supply for locals, while providing homeowners with options to address affordability and contribute to the supply of vacation accommodation," says District of Squamish Mayor Karen Elliott. "First and foremost our priority is on providing affordable housing and rental options for our workforce and community members. We recognize that short-term rentals have a role to play in supporting our tourism industry, particularly as demand resumes once travel restrictions ease. We continue to approach these regulations with careful consideration to ensure that a diversity and balance of accommodations exist to support all aspects of our economy and community and we will review our Short-Term Rental regulations regularly alongside our progress on affordable housing options."
 
Short-Term Rental Business Licence Applications
An STR Business Licence is required for residents who wish to use any portion of their Principal Residence for temporary commercial accommodation by paying guests. Under the new rules, a principal resident can legally rent their principal residence for periods of less than 30 days only. This business licence is required for all vacation rentals and bed and breakfasts, including those listed on Airbnb and Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO).
 
Temporary Use Permit Applications (Open January 25 to February 14)
Thirty (30) Temporary Use Permits will allow for non-principal residences such as a secondary suites or coach houses to be short-term rented on a temporary basis (initial two-year term). This approach is intended to support tourism while protecting rental housing stock in the community.
Short-listed applications will be posted to the District’s online Development Showcase and public notifications will be completed allowing for neighbourhood comment prior to consideration of issuance. If more than 30 applications are received, applications will be ranked based on the applicant’s ability to meet the evaluation criteria and deadline.  
 
Short-Term Rental Regulations at a Glance:
  • An STR can be an entire home, or a room within that home, that is rented for less than 30 consecutive days at a time.
  • STRs can only be operated from a Principal Residence, the home where you live, as an owner or tenant, and use for bills, identification, taxes, and insurance.
  • STR operators in Squamish must have a business licence. The licence number must be included in all online listings and advertising. Failure to do so is subject to a fine of up to $500 per offence.
  • The 30 successful applicants who receive Temporary Use Permits will be able to use non-principal residences such as a secondary suite or coach house as a short-term rental on a temporary basis (initial two-year term) and are intended to support tourism while protecting rental housing stock in the community.
  • Adopted in November 2020, the District’s STR Regulations are aimed to support the community’s ability to provide adequate and affordable housing needed to sustain a vibrant local economy. 
  • STR enforcement of unlicensed STR units will begin on April 1, 2021 following a four-month grace period. Complaint-driven enforcement will remain ongoing until then. To report a STR issue or concern, please contact Bylaw Enforcement at 604.815.5067 or bylaw@squamish.ca. Complaints will be prioritized according to health, safety and environmental impacts.
 
To learn more about STR eligibility, applications, requirements and fees, visit squamish.ca/short-term-rentals.
For STR Frequently Asked Questions visit squamish.ca/short-term-rentals-faq
For STR Temporary Use Permit and licensing inquiries please contact the District’s Planning Department at planning@squamish.ca or 604.815.5002. 
To learn about building or legalizing a secondary suite please visit squamish.ca/secondary-suites
To learn more about the District of Squamish’s affordable housing efforts please visit squamish.ca/affordable-housing.


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