Province-wide controls needed over Airbnb-type operations: Burlington
Published September 28, 2023 at 2:52 pm
Burlington wants the Ontario government to step in and regulate short-term rental (STR) operations such as Airbnb and Verbo.
City councillors this week approved a number of resolutions calling on Queen’s Park to oversee a province-wide plan that would force STR operators to comply with a number of rules.
Specifically, Burlington wants the Province:
- to force STR operators to be accountable and responsible for their listings and comply with regulations
- to create an STR registry system that identifies rental locations
- to collect fees from operators that municipalities can then use to enforce local bylaw infractions
- to remove a property from the STR company’s listing when a municipality has identified ongoing problems at a location.
The move comes as complaints come from Burlington homeowners who say that noise levels at STRs and the garbage left behind after parties continue in neighbourhoods despite pleas to STR operators to address the situation.
“I know of several (STRs) in my ward that can really get out of hand,” said Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith in raising the matter. “There is a history of some of these in Burlington that have become nuisances in neighbourhoods.”
Although Burlington is considering its own licensing for STR operations, Galbraith stressed that a Province-wide solution is preferable for consistency.
“Right now we have each city coming up with its own plan,” Galbraith said adding that varying rules will push STR operators into neighbouring municipalities as they look for loopholes. “If we had more Provincial regulations we would have more control so that the (situation) doesn’t get out of control.”
In the past Burlington councillors have heard complaints that STRs are used as staging grounds for “event centres” or large parties instead of rest stops for visitors and families.
Critics of STRs also say the locations are taking away from the housing pool as homes or condo units that were previously available for sale or rent have been taken off the market.
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