Council to make decision on short term residential rentals

By Lindsay Advocate

City of Kawartha Lakes Council will be making a decision on short term residential rentals in the City of Kawartha Lakes at the August 14 Council Meeting. City staff completed an extensive review of short term residential rentals and provided an informational report to Council at the June 19 Council meeting on the outcomes of the review and proposed options for consideration. Staff have developed three options for Council’s consideration.

Staff are recommending that Council adopt the first option which is to monitor short term residential rentals. The status-quo option means that no new policies or by-laws are recommended. Option one outlines the following:

* Continue to respond to by-law violation complaints as per current practices and by-laws;
* Implement new processes to fully use existing legislation to address complaints;
* That the Clean and Clear By-law 2014-026, Animals By-law 2017-039, Open Air Burning By-law 2016-110, Fireworks By-Law 2007-236 and the Noise By-law 2005-25 be amended to reflect that the onus is additionally placed onto the property owner to ensure that they are taking responsibility for the activities that are occurring on the properties that they own;
* Conduct an education campaign and information sharing process to inform property owners, cottage/road associations and visitors of their responsibilities, by-laws and regulations as well as increased fines for repeat violations of the by-laws;
* Increase proactive enforcement of by-law violations and conduct random and focused enforcement in partnership with Police Services; and
* Municipal Law Enforcement staff continue to be available to the public, Council and other city staff as a general information resource;

The City’s Fee’s By-law outlines the fees that can be charged to the owner of a property for inspections by Municipal Law Enforcement staff that result in a by-law violation being found.

City Staff are also recommending wording changes and removing free additional inspections to the make the schedule clear that fees are only charged when a violation is found. The changes will also protect owners of short term resident rental properties from vexatious complaints by including provisions that fees for service are only levied if by-law violations are found.

The inspection fees schedules as suggested in the report will allow cost recovery of the associated inspection and fees will increase for repeat issues.

Staff have also developed a tracking tool within the City’s complaint management database to track calls that are coming in specifically for rental properties.

The second option is to introduce a registration program for owners who rent their properties for 30 days or less.

The third option would be to increase Municipal Law Enforcement hours of service during the evenings and on weekends from May 1 to October 31 annually.

Numerous pieces of legislation already exist to deal with many of the reported impacts resulting from short term residential rentals. The City’s enacted by-laws address matters pertaining to parking, noise, property standards, burning, animals and domestic waste disposal. Provincial law and statues exist to address alcohol/controlled substance consumption, unsafe operation of motor vehicles or watercrafts and septic issues.

For more information, read the Short Term Residential Rentals Follow-up Report on the City’s website.

The August 14 Council meeting will be held in the Victoria Room and Weldon Room at City Hall (26 Francis Street) beginning at 2 pm. The Council meeting will not be broadcast on Cogeco TV.

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