Is it time for some regulations? That was the headline of the Thursday Spotlight story by editor John Harding (The NEWS, May 19). Apparently the local tourism association and chamber of commerce claim “illegal” vacation rentals are impacting their business. I challenge them to prove it.
Inquire at well-run vacation properties and you will learn they are booked almost 365 days of the year. Call the vacation properties along Resort Drive and you will find similar lack of availability.
Try to purchase a vacation property and you will learn that stratas are deducting 40 per cent off the top of all rentals to manage their rental pools. Ask for financial history of these same properties and you will see steady increased revenue since the downfall in 2008, with this year well ahead of last year. If vacation properties are not successful this year, then they probably are not offering good service or value.
Being as official vacation properties are well booked, the unofficial vacation businesses actually make it possible for even more tourists to visit the area and spend their money here. The businesses in our communities are all enjoying the increase in customers.
But of course this is peak tourist season. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could enjoy the same number or customers year-round? They could if the majority of stratas did not impose a “no-rental” clause in their properties. Then the residents who spend their winters in warmer climates could rent their homes and more customers for all businesses year-round.
Real estate values of homes in stratas would increase when they allow rentals — everyone could win.
How about an absentee tax on residents who only live here a few months of each year and don’t make meaningful contributions to the local economy?
Do we need regulation? Yes. Overrule stratas banning rentals and bring in an absentia tax on home owners.
Susan BlacklinQualicum Beach