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Vernon Landlords: Secondary Suites 2014

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 Vernon landlords bylaws 2014

We would like to hope everyone has a great holiday and a happy and successful 2014.

We will continue to provide news, advice and networking for landlords in Kelowna and the rest of the region.

Emails With Questions

Over the past couple of months we’ve received emails from landlords from all over our part of the province.

Whether it’s from a newcomer to Canada who is now a Surrey landlord or people who are just thinking about becoming landlords in British Columbia, we welcome the questions and suggestions.

This includes emails from landlords in Vernon who have questions about potential policy changes in the new year.

According to the Vernon Morning Star vacancy rates in Vernon were up significantly in the latter half of 2013 compared to a year earlier.

The rate was was 6.8%.

This is higher than the average than other British Columbia landlords face.

The British Columbia average vacancy rate was 2.4 per cent in October 2013, down from 2.7 per cent in October 2012.

Vancouver landlords faced a vacancy rate of only 1.1%

Are There Any Big Changes in Store for Vernon Landlords in 2014?

First of all we have some good news for Vernon landlords.

You have a terrific Manager of Bylaw Enforcement in your city.

We contacted Clint Kanester, Manager of Bylaw Enforcement with our questions and he provided us with helpful information fast.

We hope the following information from Mr. Kanester is helpful for landlords.

If you require specific information make sure you contact him directly.

Question #1

Are Vernon landlords still going to be required to live in a property with a second suite?

The City currently still requires a landlord to live in a house containing a secondary suite, and of course to meet building code requirements, pay a business licence fee of $60.00 a year and pay utility fees.  

No suites are allowed in anything other than a SFD, but this is building code requirements, not a bylaw.

Question #2

Will there be any changes to this rule or any other rules to help small business landlords in the city?

Council over the years has reduced or removed just about every other fee and are looking at further reductions, in-law suite specific regulations, and perhaps removing the requirements for the owner to live in the home. 

Whether these fly or not has yet to be determined, as there appears to be councilors on both sides of that fence, as of course having an owner live in the home maintains a much higher control of the tenancy, and reduces conflict with the neighbourhood, etc… 

The resolution below has not been implemented yet, but is in the works for early 2014.



(OCP00058, ZON00212)

Moved by Councillor Cunningham, seconded by Councillor Nicol:

 THAT Council support amending Official Community Plan (OCP) Bylaw #5151, Zoning Bylaw #5000, Development Application Procedure Bylaw #4103, and Fees and Charges Bylaw #3909 in order to remove secondary use development permit regulations, procedures and processes and direct staff to prepare the associated bylaw amendments for Council’s consideration. By removing the secondary use development permit provisions, uses such as bed and breakfast; care centre, minor; care centre, major; group home, minor; home based business, major; secondary suites; seniors assisted housing and seniors supportive housing would be permitted in the applicable agricultural, residential and holding zoning districts, subject to specific regulations;

AND FURTHER, that Council support removing the secondary use development permits policy from the Corporate Policy Manual;

AND FURTHER, that Council support amending Zoning Bylaw #5000, Section 2.2.3 to add the following definition for in law secondary suites

IN LAW SECONDARY SUITE means a secondary suite which is occupied by an individual or individuals who do not provide rent to the property owner and are all related to the property owner by blood, marriage or adoption. The owner is to provide an annual declaration to the City confirming the occupier(s) do not pay rent and all occupier(s) are related to the property owner by blood, marriage or adoption.

AND FURTHER, that Council support amending the Fees and Charges Bylaw #3909 to include an annual owner declaration processing fee of $30.00 for an in law secondary suite.

        AND FURTHER, that Council support amending Zoning Bylaw #5000, Section 5.5.5 to increase the

       maximum percentage of floor area for a secondary suite within a primary building from 30% to 40%;

       AND FURTHER, that Council refer the proposed bylaw and policy amendments to the Advisory  

       Planning Committee (APC) and the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee (AHAC) for their review 

Question #3

Many landlords are interested in investing in more rentals in Vernon, is there any chance the landlords will be able to invest in rental properties they don’t intend to live in?

Not sure what else may be coming down the pipe for 2014, other than Planning is coming forward with a report, at Council and the Affordable Housing Committee’s request, that will provide Council with information related to requiring the owner occupancy of a suited property….

Again, staff are currently working on a report for Council related to this resolution….



 Moved by Councillor Cunningham, seconded by Councillor Lord:

 THAT Staff be directed to investigate the feasibility of amending Zoning Bylaw #5000 to permit single family dwellings with secondary suites, to not require the property owner to reside in either the primary unit or secondary suite;

AND FURTHER, that staff’s report be referred to the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee for their review and recommendation to Council.

CARRIED, with Councillor Spiers opposed.

Landlords Success in 2014

We hope changes are made to increase investment and allow more professional landlords to own more rental properties in Vernon in the new year.

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