A Thompson-Nicola Regional District director on Friday called for stronger enforcement against people causing issues with short-term rentals in the region.
The regional district does not proactively enforce short-term rentals, but rather addresses them when complaints for issues like noise, risk or otherwise are identified.
The board heard staff send at least three letters to short-term-rental owners before issuing a ticket of $250. Tickets do not escalate in price and are charged per incident, not daily.
Barriere Mayor Ward Stamer said sort-term rental issues have arisen with properties on East Barriere Lake. He questioned whether steeper enforcement may be needed.
“If they’re not in compliance and they were continuing to do it, why can’t we use it as a hammer and say, ‘OK, you want to rent it out for $400 for a weekend? No problem, we’re going to charge you $250 a night,” Stamer said.
In the summer, the TNRD rejected a temporary use permit by a Langley couple for a short-term rental at East Barriere Lake and Stamer said the issue has persisted since that time.
He appeared frustrated over the issue during Friday’s TNRD meeting, wondering what recourse the regional district will have in the future with rumour in his community that more short-term rentals could be in the works.
TNRD director of development services Regina Sadilkova said up to five short-term rental cases heard in B.C. have weighed in favour of local governments.
The TNRD was recently victorious in court after suing the owners of short-term rentals at Red Lake. In that case, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ordered the property owners to stop renting.
The district has said complaints about short-term rentals are increasing.