How to Purchase a Short-Term Rental Condo In Kelowna
Updated: Aug 12
Not only is Kelowna is the fastest growing city in Canada, it is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in British Columbia. As such, the city has a thriving short-term rental market, with many homeowners choosing to rent out their properties to visitors on a short-term basis. With cash-flowing properties getting increasingly harder to find in the top estate markets, short-term rentals like AirBnb can be an incredibly lucrative opportunity for homeowners and investors.
For example, AirBnb condos in Kelowna can make between $300-$900/night in the high season (May-September), and single-family homes can make upwards of $1800/night and beyond, depending on factors such as location, size, amenities, and the time of year.
If you are thinking seriously about investing in one of these properties, keep in mind that there are some regulations that you need to follow in order to run a successful and legal short-term rental in Kelowna.
What are the regulations around short-term rentals in the city?
In the City of Kelowna, your short-term rental must either be your primary residence, or a condo in a building that is zoned for short-term rentals. There are currently 10 buildings that are zoned for nightly short-term rentals in Kelowna, meaning that you will legally and easily be able to get a license to run it as a short-term rental or AirBnb property.
Note: There are also some vacation resorts in West Kelowna that you can buy into, but you generally have to use the resort's own management. Reach out for more info on those.
Lease-land properties in West Kelowna also have their own set of guidelines, and you can typically short-term rent those properties as well (unless Strata bylaws prevent it).
Kelowna Condos Zoned for Short-Term Rentals
The following Kelowna buildings are zoned for short-term rentals (subject to change at any time) meaning the owners of property here have the legal ability to rent their suites for periods of time less than 30 days. Click on the links to see current available listings:
Discovery Bay - (Built 2003) Older building but it is downtown on the water with resort style amenities, close to restaurants, bars, breweries, beaches. Very popular for AirBnb.
Sunset Waterfront Resort - (Built in 2005) Right next to Discovery Bay, smaller and not as widely known as a short-term rental building, but they have some lake view units, as well as pool, hot tub, gym and a tennis court.
Brooklyn on Bernard - (Built 2021) New, downtown, lake views, stunning rooftop terrace and clubhouse, no pool.
Sole Downtown - (2015) Quick walk to downtown and proposed UBCO downtown campus, central location, no pool, rooftop + small gym, affordable.
Sole - (2015) Down the street from its sister building, central location, affordable.
Playa del Sol - (Built 2007) Located on the edge of the popular Pandosy Village, resort-style amenities, close to the beach, affordable prices.
Barona Beach - (2005) Beautiful, large units, on a sandy beach with lake views and resort amenities in West Kelowna. It will make up to $800/night in the summer for a 3 bedroom, however it is a bit further from town, so occupancy will be lower over winter, high strata fees.
Borgata Lodge - (1995) Great choice for investors. Due to its close proximity to UBCO, investors have plenty of students who rent from September through May, leaving prime summer months for AirBnb. Next to Quail Ridge Golf Course.
Pinnacle Point - (2008) Adjacent to Kelowna’s International Airport and UBCO, Pinnacle Point is an ideal investment. It’s surrounded by The Okanagan Golf Club, home to courses ‘The Bear’ and ‘The Quail’.
Granite at Mckinley Beach - (2019) Premier Okanagan community located on Lake Okanagan with over a kilometre of beachfront access, great hiking paths, biking trails, its own marina, pickleball courts, outdoor gym and more.
Two buildings in Kelowna also do minimum 7-day rentals:
Cambridge House: Mostly 300 SQFT micro-suites, close to downtown.
Mission Shores: Higher end townhomes near the El Dorado Hotel. Dock, boatlift, beach, pool and hot tub.
*Please reach out for current information on any of these properties.
Professional Management Companies
Note: There are many AirBnb management companies in Kelowna. They tend to charge a pretty high percentage, from 25-30%. You can likely find someone to manage it for cheaper (or do it yourself), but this is the standard rate in Kelowna for short-term rental professional management. I have used a few of these companies for my own rentals - ask me for referrals!
Some owners choose to short-term rent their properties out for the entire year, however you will generate about 60% of your income over those high-season months. Other options include renting to students from September-May, or putting in another shorter term tenant (ie. remote workers or people looking to purchase a home).
Applying for a Kelowna Short-Term Rental Business Licence
Apply for a business licence and pay a licensing fee. ($345 for principal residences and $750 for non-principal residences).
Provide proof of ownership.
Submit a strata consent form.
Submit a Good Neighbour Agreement Form.
Submit a Fire and Safety Attestation Form.
Provide proof that the home is a principal residence.
Submit a parking plan.
Prepare a fire and safety evacuation plan.
If you're looking to invest in a condo and would like to explore potential short-term rental investments in Kelowna, please contact me today. As someone who has owned and run both a single-family and condo short-term rental in Kelowna, my firsthand experience is instrumental to navigating the process.