Short-term Rentals

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The Township of Lake of Bays is undertaking a review of short-term rentals (STRs). Beginning in August 2019, Township staff were directed by Council to investigate the short-term rental of residential properties with no on-site management. STRs are generally understood to refer to rental of a residence, or part of a residence, for short periods of time (a month or less).

A comprehensive community engagement process took place from January 14th to March 20th of 2020. The results from this public feedback showed significant support for the regulation of STRs. After being presented to Council in August 2020, Council directed staff to investigate options for STR regulation and to conduct additional public consultation. This will help determine the approach the Township should take to regulate short-term rentals.

We are looking for your input regarding the most appropriate regulations to implement for STRs in the Township through completion of the survey below. The survey will only take a few minutes to complete and will be available until November 9, 2020. Data collected through this survey will not be used for by-law enforcement purposes, and you may remain anonymous.

Prior to answering this survey, feel free to read the staff report “Short-Term Rentals – Regulation Options and Best Practice Review” dated August 19, 2020 and the Council Resolution #7(a)(i)/08/19/20 for more information.

The Township of Lake of Bays is undertaking a review of short-term rentals (STRs). Beginning in August 2019, Township staff were directed by Council to investigate the short-term rental of residential properties with no on-site management. STRs are generally understood to refer to rental of a residence, or part of a residence, for short periods of time (a month or less).

A comprehensive community engagement process took place from January 14th to March 20th of 2020. The results from this public feedback showed significant support for the regulation of STRs. After being presented to Council in August 2020, Council directed staff to investigate options for STR regulation and to conduct additional public consultation. This will help determine the approach the Township should take to regulate short-term rentals.

We are looking for your input regarding the most appropriate regulations to implement for STRs in the Township through completion of the survey below. The survey will only take a few minutes to complete and will be available until November 9, 2020. Data collected through this survey will not be used for by-law enforcement purposes, and you may remain anonymous.

Prior to answering this survey, feel free to read the staff report “Short-Term Rentals – Regulation Options and Best Practice Review” dated August 19, 2020 and the Council Resolution #7(a)(i)/08/19/20 for more information.

Q&A

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    I would like to know how thorough cleaning, especially during the Covid 19 pandemic, can be ensured between renters. This would be of benefit to both the renters and also the cottage owners when advertising their properties for rent. Leaving the cleaning up to the renters and the owners not checking before next renters, is a potential for disaster. Perhaps when the list of rules and Regulations for STR is written, either proof that the cleaning has been done or in these Covid times, a mandatory professional cleaning has been completed. The owners could either write off this amount at tax time as an expense or increase the rental for the amount.

    Toothfairy asked 22 days ago

    Thank you for your input. Your suggestions have been received and recorded for further investigation by the STR Team. The questions you raise regarding cleaning and COVID-19 will be considered in consultation with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit as part of this project.  If your question relates to a specific rental property that you have concerns with, perhaps reaching out to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit would provide some direction for you.

    Respectfully,

    The STR Team


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    I want to know why this action is taking place. I am not aware of major issues with rental properties, where can I find out about complaints? I understand the issue in Huntsville where rental apartments are becoming limited because of short term rentals but how does renting out a cottage impact the community in a negative way?

    Terry Schacht asked 27 days ago

    Hello Terry, 

    Thank you for your questions. On August 20, 2019, Resolution #7(c)/08/20/19 was passed by Council directing staff to investigate options in managing Short-term Rental (STR) of residential properties in the Township and report back with a recommendation. This resolution was in response to deputation to Council raising concerns regarding the increase in the short-term rental of residential properties with no on-site management. It was stated that the property owners abutting these STRs are being severely impacted and are very concerned with the effect the STRs are having on the environment and the enjoyment of their properties. Property owners were requesting municipal assistance in addressing these issues. The resolution stated that Council is concerned with these residential properties operating as commercial entities and the consequences it is having on Township of Lake of Bays ratepayers/property owners. Overall, complaints received have primarily been related to noise, garbage, # of people, parking, use of trailers, septic, and fires during restricted times. Note: If you have further questions about how complaints are handled and referred to in the staff report, please contact the Township By-Law Officer.

    On October 22nd, 2019, a further deputation was heard by Council regarding STRs, reiterating key concerns from the perspective of local resort owners and urging Council to address the issue of STRs.

    Since then, staff have been working to investigate options in managing STRs, including a public engagement process that ran from January 14th, 2020 to March 20th, 2020. This public engagement showed a majority of respondents wanting some form of regulation for STRs in the Township.

    On August 19th, 2020, staff presented a report to Council that included the public input in favour of STR regulation, options for STR regulation, a review of best-management practices, an educational document for property owners, and a recommendation that if Council approves pursuing options for regulation, they approve another public engagement process. Resolution #7(a)(i)/08/19/20 was passed based on this report, whereby staff were directed to continue to monitor STR-related issues, investigate options for STR regulation, conduct additional public consultation, release an educational document for property owners, and obtain a legal opinion on the operation of STRs under existing planning documents. The survey currently available is designed to gather public input on which regulations would be most appropriate, and based on feedback received, Council and staff will consider the implications of the regulatory documents.

    For further discussion on the project to date, please contact the STR team.

    Respectfully,

    The STR Team