Short Term Rental Licences

Bylaws to regulate short-term rentals (STRs) in Squamish are in effect. Under the rules, a principal resident can legally rent their principal residence for periods of less than 30 days. STRs are not permitted in secondary suites or coach houses (accessory dwelling units). Our STR regulations help protect long-term rental housing and allow residents to earn additional income.  

All STR operators in Squamish must have a business licence and include their licence number in all online listings and advertising, or they may be subject to fines up to $500 per offence.

To learn about recent 2023 STR Program adjustments visit the STR Review Page (February 16 2023 Update) This includes a Fees and Charges Bylaw Amendment (Short-term Rentals Update Bylaw No. 2958) adopted on April 4, 2023. View the bylaw and staff report with the March 21, 2023 Agenda 

Sign up to receive Short Term Rentals updates by email.

Show All

How to apply for a STR business licence

  • Business Licence step-by-step guide

    Step 1: Confirm you’re eligible for a licence (see Eligibility section below)

    A STR business licence can only be issued to a person, for the property where they reside. A person may only have one principal residence and one STR business licence.

    Step 2: Confirm you meet safety requirements (see Fire and Safety Requirements under Eligibility section below)

    Step 3: Get permission from the owner and/or strata

    If you are a tenant and/or live in a strata, you are required to have permission for STR of your home before you apply for a licence. If you are a tenant, the owner's permission is required (submit an owner consent form). If you live in a strata property, your strata bylaws must permit the use of STRs and you must have strata authorization to operate a STR in the building (submit a strata consent form).

    Step 4: Review the STR bylaws, listing and advertising rules

    Follow all applicable STR bylaws:

    Make sure that guests don't disturb the peace and quiet of neighbours; read the Good Neighbour Guidelines. Ensure that guests park their vehicles on your property or on the street where allowed. Read the street parking regulations.

    Step 5: Review fees and apply for a licence

    Fees:

    • Monthly Shared or Private Rooms $50
    • Annual Shared or Private Rooms $300
    • Monthly Entire Dwelling $150
    • Annual Entire Dwelling $900
    • Annual Non-Principal Residence Unit (if you are successfully issued a TUP) $3,000

    *For new applicants that have not previously operated an STR, applications made after May 1st are eligible for a 50% pro-rated fee for annual STR licences (shared or private rooms, or entire dwelling STRs). Pro-rated discounts are not available to monthly STR licences.

    Apply: Complete and submit the following forms and documents:

    Please note applications are not accepted via email. 

    Business Licence phone 604.815.5014 if you have questions related to applying for a business licence.

    STR operators are required to renew their licence annually (or monthly if applicable) and ensure all documentation is accurate and up to date for each new year. 

    Note that additional water and sewer utilities are no longer charged for STRs (see Utilities section below). 

  • Eligibility

    Is your home eligible to have a STR?

    Your home is eligible if:

    • you are an individual (not a business or corporation)
    • the home you want to rent is your principal residence (the residential address and specific unit where you live and use for bills, ID, taxes and insurance)
    • if you are a renter, you will need the owner’s permission to short-term rent
    • if you live in a strata building or complex, you will need to check to make sure your strata bylaws allow STRs and you will need your strata council’s permission to short-term rent
    • note that you can STR an entire dwelling unit (single family, duplex, townhouse or apartment unit) or shared or private room(s) within the unit, as long as the unit is your principal residence

    Your home is not eligible if:

    • the space you want to rent is a secondary suite or coach house. 
    • you are a business, company, corporation, society or commercial operation
    • the home you want to rent is not your principal residence (if it is a second home, vacation home, investment unit, secondary suite, coach house or accessory dwelling unit)

    Property managers are required to get a property management business licence to market and manage the unit on behalf of the STR operator.

    Parking

    If your home is a single family or duplex unit, then 1 additional parking space is required for every 2 STR bedrooms, to a maximum of 3 additional spaces. Note these are additional spaces, beyond the spaces required for the residential use (which are normally 2 spaces per dwelling unit).

    If your home is in a strata complex (townhouse or apartment unit), then no additional spaces are required.

    An example of an acceptable parking plan could be an aerial photo or sketched site plan showing all on-site parking spaces delineated and dimensioned. 

    STR Listing

    Clearly indicate your licence number for your STR accommodation in all your rental advertisements or listings (such as in the description section of your Airbnb listing). Post a visible paper copy of your licence in your STR accommodation unit.

    Fire and Safety Requirements

    Your STR accommodation must have appropriate safety measures in place to protect guests in the event of an emergency. The following requirements must be met:

    • Provide an emergency contact name and number to all guests and have the contact information posted in the unit
    • Post the contact information for Emergency 911 and non-emergency contact information for District of Squamish Bylaw Enforcement, Squamish RCMP and Squamish Fire Rescue in the unit
    • Post a fire safety plan (see next section) at all entrances and exits
    • Have smoke alarms on every floor and in every bedroom
    • Have a working and accessible fire extinguisher on every floor
    • Have carbon monoxide detectors on every floor if there are gas appliances
    • Maintain, inspect and test smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors annually and keep records of the inspections and tests

    Fire Safety Plan

    You are required to post a fire safety plan at all entrances and exits. The fire safety plan should include the following information:

    • Operator’s name
    • Address of the property
    • Emergency contact (name and number of the responsible person who is locally available 24/7 to address immediate concerns)
    • Emergency 911 info
    • Designated meeting point
    • Location of fire extinguishers, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
    • Location of window exits of code-approved size

    For guidance on how to do a fire safety plan, check out how to make a fire safety plan, or this example from the City of Kelowna.

Temporary Use Permits for STR of Non-Principal Residences (Suites and Accessory Dwelling)

  • STR Temporary Use Permit Applications:

    The District of Squamish will issue up to 30 STR Temporary Use Permits (TUPs) for short-term rental of non-principal residences within Secondary Suites or Accessory Dwellings. These TUPs allow short-term rental on a temporary basis where not otherwise permitted within the District's zoning bylaw and are intended to support tourism while protecting rental housing stock in the community. TUPs will now be issued for a 3-year term, with 1 renewal opportunity for an additional 3 year term.

    TUPs will only be considered for STR Accommodation Operators who live full time (a minimum of nine months in a calendar year) on the subject property, either in the Principal Residence or in the Secondary Suite or Accessory Dwelling Unit. The Operator can be the owner or the renter of the subject property (renter with landlord or owner permission).

    STR Temporary Use Permit Applications Re-Open April 3, 2023

    New TUP applications will be accepted as of April 3, 2023 for the short-term rental of a limited number of Secondary Suites or Accessory Dwellings. In addition to the current number of licensed TUPs, an additional 18 additional TUPs are expected to be issued.

    Starting April 3, 2023, STR TUP applications will be accepted on a first come basis, time-stamped and evaluated based on the District’s revised Short-Term Rental Interim Temporary Use Permit Policy (as amended February 14, 2023). For more information about TUP application and evaluation criteria, or STR licensing questions, email [email protected] or call 604-815-5002.

  • TUP application step-by-step guide

    Step 1: Check to see if you’re eligible to apply for TUP

    Is your home eligible to have an STR TUP?

    Your home is eligible if:

    • you are an individual (not a business or corporation)
    • you live full time (minimum of 9 months a year) on the property, either in the principal residence or in the suite or coach house.
    • only 1 STR will operate on the property (i.e. you cannot STR more than 1 unit on the property)
    • there is no Residential Child Care Facility operating on the property

    Your home is not eligible if:

    • your suite or coach house is not a legal, permitted unit (i.e. if the suite was built or installed without a building permit)
    • you are a business, company, corporation, society or commercial operation
    • you do not live full time on the property (i.e. if the property is a second home, vacation home or investment unit)

    Step 2: Confirm that you would also meet the requirements to get a business licence (see above on how to apply for a STR business licence)

    Step 3: Review fees and apply for a TUP

    TUP Fee (Initial Application):  $1,200

    STR-Specific TUP Renewal Fee: $500 (as of April 4 2023)

    • Note that the TUP application fee is non-refundable once an application is short-listed in the review process. If the TUP application is successful, a Business Licence will be required and is an additional fee.
    • Further, Dwelling Units that received a Building Permit fee exemption for construction of a Secondary Suite or ADU (for permits issued between January 20, 2016 and January 31, 2019) will only be issued a TUP if the full amount of applicable Building Permit fees is re-paid to the District in accordance with the Fees and Charges Bylaw 2012, 2007. This is a condition outlined in the Short-Term Rental Temporary Use Permit Policy.

    To apply: Complete and submit the following forms:

    Email your completed TUP application form and applicable supporting documents to [email protected] or drop-off in-person at Municipal Hall. Applications are date/time stamped in order of receipt. Applicants will receive confirmation of receipt and will be contacted with payment options. Fee payment can be made over the phone or in person.

    If you have any questions related to applying for an STR TUP, please call the Planning Department at 604.815.5002

    If your TUP application is approved, following issuance of the TUP, the next step is to apply for your non-principal residence STR business licence. See the section on How to apply for a STR business licence.

    Once issued and the initial TUP term has lapsed, the TUP may be renewed once for an additional term. TUP renewals will be subject to the renewal application fee above, and re-evaluation in accordance with the Short-Term Rental TUP Policy (as amended February 14, 2023).

Compliance

  • Active Enforcement (Starting April 1, 2021)

    The District will be pursuing active enforcement (District led) of the STR regulations starting on April 1, 2021 to ensure STR operators comply with rules and regulations. Operators may face fines of $500 per day, per offence, and significantly higher amounts if compliance efforts require escalation.   

  • Complaint-driven Enforcement (Ongoing)

    Prior to starting active enforcement on April 1, 2021, the District will follow up on complaints received from the public through phone or via the online form: Bylaw Complaint Page

    If you're aware of a STR business operating without a licence, or would like to submit an STR related complaint, contact Bylaw Enforcement at 604.815.5067.

  • Example Offences

    • Operating without a valid business licence
    • Listing or advertising without a valid business licence
    • Listing or advertising without displaying a valid business licence in the listing
    • Operating a STR in a home that is not your principal residence
    • Operating in an unsafe way or not following the fire and safety requirements

    Operators with repeat offences may be subject to escalating prosecution.

  • Inspection

    Your STR unit may be inspected after you get your business licence. Upon request, please provide access to your unit for the District to inspect. The District may also audit your licence and request evidence that supports the information in your licence application.

    Operators should understand that the District may:

    • Audit STR business licences and all required documentation
    • Request evidence that supports the information in a licence application
    • Request records showing fire safety inspections and safety maintenance
  • Information for Guests

    District bylaws ensure our community is a safe and enjoyable place for residents and visitors. Please ensure your guests are aware of the following rules, as well as any other rules set by your strata, if applicable.

    Noise: Because many STR properties are near other residential homes, please ensure your guests are considerate of the public and their neighbours at all times of day. View the Good Neighbour Guidelines to learn more.

    Parking: Ensure your guests know where they can and cannot park. Guests must have access to the designated STR unit parking spaces. Inform guests of any applicable on-street parking regulations.

    Dogs: Guests must always control their dogs and keep them on a leash when outside. Guests must also pick up after their dog.

    Garbage, recycling and organics collection: Ensure guests understand what waste and recycling goes where. View the Waste Diversion page and our what goes where guide, and proactively encourage proper recycling and sorting of waste and organics. Reduce potential for bear and wildlife conflicts by ensuring your totes are securely locked and stored inside a shed or garage if possible.

Utilities

  • Water Utility Rate

    2023 STR Program updates endorsed by Council on February 14, 2023 included a fees and charge bylaw amendment to remove STR-specific utility charges for water and sewer. Fees and Charges Amendment Bylaw 2958 was adopted on April 4, 2023. For 2023, STR licensees will not be charged for utilities when invoicing is initiated in May of this year. For more information, see the STR Program Review page.

    Residents will still be required to pay residential utility rates on an annual basis for their dwelling unit, per the District's Fees and Charges Bylaw No. 2012, 2007 (see Schedules 23, 24).

     

  • Sewer Utility Rate

    2023 STR Program updates endorsed by Council on February 14, 2023 included a fees and charge bylaw amendment to remove STR-specific utility charges for water and sewer. Fees and Charges Amendment Bylaw 2958 was adopted on April 4, 2023. For 2023, STR licensees will not be charged for utilities when invoicing is initiated in May of this year. For more information, see the STR Program Review page.

    Residents will still be required to pay residential utility rates on an annual basis for their dwelling unit, per the District's Fees and Charges Bylaw No. 2012, 2007 (see Schedules 23, 24).

Key Contacts

Resources and Background Information

We use cookies to help improve our website for you.