St. Edmunds Property Owners, Inc. supports that concept and practice of RESPONSIBLE Short Term Rentals.
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Renting a summer cottage has been a significant part of summer life in Ontario for decades. Families consider staying in a cottage by the lake as a special part of their family’s vacation time; each year, they eagerly anticipate “going to the cottage”. Cottage owners rent out their places to offset ever increasing expenses and to provide vacation time for their renters; for the most part, it’s a win win for landlords and tenants.
Unfortunately, in recent years, rented cottages have become problematic; online platforms have facilitated renting cottages that resulted in a few irresponsible and greedy owners renting to equally thoughtless individuals who show little or no regard for common courtesy and consideration towards the property, their neighbours or the community. This has created an unwarranted bad impression of rented cottages.
Concerns and complaints about Short Term Rentals fall into four categories: Noise, overcrowding, open fires and absentee landlords. There continues to be little or no response to complaints reported to the municipality with little or no follow up or consequences for the offending landlords and /or tenants. Enforcing existing bylaws appears to be starting point in dealing with these few and unfortunate situations that are tarnishing the otherwise positive aspects of short term rentals.
These parameters should be a basis for RESPONSIBLE RENTING:
- Occupancy does not exceed the design capacity of the building and its Septic System
- Septic System is up to date, properly and regularly maintained and operating perfectly
- Building meets all building, fire and safety codes
- The landlord is onsite or nearby or readily accessible 24/7 and is known to and readily accessible by the neighbours 24/7 in case of any emergency or tenant problems
- Adequate on site parking for ALL vehicles associated with the property
- Tenants are apprised of all “house rules” including absolute respect and consideration for the neighbours
- No inconsiderate behaviour including no noise after 11:00 PM or before 9:00 AM
- Tenants are aware of and comply with all ordinances including applicable Fire Bans and NO Fireworks
FOCA, Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Association, website page “Responsible Cottage Rental” outlines a number of aspects for “responsible renting” including links to practices in other municipalities. It can be found at this link https://foca.on.ca/responsible-cottage-rental/
Municipalities of all sizes around this province are impacted by and recognize the importance of “Seasonal Residents” or “Second Home Owners” who rent responsibly and they have or are in the process of accommodating private home / cottage rentals. Many have practices in place that could serve as a resource for the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula’s quest for a viable solution to this complex situation.
The Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula conducted a survey in order to determine the number of Short Term Accommodations that exist in the municipality. Follow this link to the survey: http://sepo.ca/wp-admin/post.php?post=1340&action=edit
Muskoka’s report on and recognition of the importance of Seasonal Residences: https://www.muskoka.on.ca/en/live-and-play/second-home-study.aspx
The City of Kawartha Lakes has developed and implemented a very reasonable and inviting Short Term Rental policy. This is an example of the type policy that would work in the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula.
The City of Kawartha Lakes has dedicated a full web-page to the topic, including posters created to remind property owners and their visitors about by-law regulations and other important local information. https://www.kawarthalakes.ca/en/things-to-do/short-term-rentals.aspx
Kawartha Lakes STAs Information for renters and property owners: Kawartha STA Information for Renters and Owners
Kawartha Lakes STAs Information sheet for resident and property owner complaints: Kawartha STA Information for Complaints
The Home Sharing Guide for Ontario Municipalities: https://www.ontario.ca/page/home-sharing-guide-ontario-municipalities?fbclid=IwAR0I7asy63VXMzkXte01MO-D3qiEht0vwplWUySEb81gVQLiYG_DVZXHtRw
How some other municipalities are dealing with rental cottages; https://cottagelife.com/realestate/there-are-new-limits-on-rental-cottages/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=organic&fbclid=IwAR3I7rUpLCEEPlDvmAnvzsmC5AFSxa67haN-mNM2sB6JFjF7JsIczsVmDfw
Prince Edward County is another area facing challenges with Short Accomodations https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2019/05/17/prince-edward-county-grapples-with-housing-shortage-amid-boom-in-short-term-rentals.html
Tiny Township has by far the best solution for STRs. https://www.tiny.ca/Pages/Short-Term-Rental-Information.aspx
Further at: The Reality of Rental Cottages
At this time, the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula does not have a specific bylaw that is applicable to Rented Cottages.
The following bylaws are applicable to Rented Cottage Situations: