It turns out there are more listed vacation rentals in Penticton than previously thought.
It was found that 53 vacation rental destinations are licensed in Penticton, considerably more than the previously indicated 21, reported by the Penticton Western News in May, and much closer to the amount listed on vacation rental websites like Airbnb. The rentals were not listed correctly in the business license database after a switch of software programs, said Economic Development Officer for the City Colleen Pennington. She said the conversion from one software to another had some rentals not showing up in the right category when searching the database.
“We have cleaned them all up, we are in the process of phoning (renters) and telling them about some of the things they should know as a vacation renter,” Pennington said, adding that a new brochure is also on the way outlining some tips for vacation renters. “(The story) led to us getting a whole bunch of our data straightened out and it was really, really helpful, and hopefully that will get most of our vacation rentals with proper licensing.”
Pennington said she is hopeful renters will come forward to license their rental for $375 annually ($200 of which goes towards tourism marketing). If not, some bylaw enforcement is on the way in the coming weeks, she said.
“The great news is (the renters) were already in our system, which is much, much nicer than having to go chase people,” Pennington said.