Board approves settlement for Airbnb, short-term rentals in London, Ont. – London

The municipal councilors of LondonOnt., have approved a settlement that aims to regulate short-term housing provided by platforms such as Airbnb.

In a movement that has been years of manufacturethe council granted final approval at a meeting on Tuesday afternoon, but not before a public participation meeting in late March prompted reactions from dozens of local hosts who expressed concern about the loss of business due to the new regulations.

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Under the now-approved regulations, short-term accommodation refers to a temporary stay at a property for 29 consecutive days or less.

Hosts are limited to listing rentals of their own homes and will also need to obtain a license. Each stay is also required to pay four per cent London Municipal Accommodation Tax, also known as Hotel Tax.

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Operating without a license can result in a $500 fine and could be doubled for a repeat offence. Other rule violations may result in a $300 fine.

The regulations will come into effect on October 1.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Ward 2 Con. Shawn Lewis proposed that the bylaw take effect in early September, but later withdrew his motion after city staff explained he needed more time.

“In order to make the settlement, we need to hold a public participation meeting to be able to take the next step. There is not enough time with the implementation of September 1 to organize a public participation meeting and to be able to put in place the mechanisms following this meeting,” said City Treasurer Anna Lisa. Barbo.

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The settlement faced opposition from Ward 11 County Stephen Turner, who disagreed that the settlement would achieve all of its goals.

The discussion surrounding the regulations first began with the aim of suppressing harmful parties resulting from short-term accommodations, but has grown to eventually also address housing problems in the city.

In a report attached to the settlementCity staff wrote “from a longer-term perspective, licensing short-term housing can help reduce the number of rental units that are taken out of the rental market for short-term stays” .

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“What’s being proposed is essentially a backdoor expropriation through other means to try to increase the number of units available on the market for longer-term housing,” Turner said at Tuesday’s meeting.

“To use this bylaw as a tool to try to infuse more housing into the city, I think that’s probably not a very good plan and I strongly advise against it.”

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“Advice. Turner pointed out that we especially need affordable housing in the city, and I don’t disagree with him there…however, we need housing at all price points in the city,” Lewis said, in defense of the settlement.

“This is only a small part of addressing housing concerns in our city, but it is important that it also addresses the quality of our neighborhoods,” Ward 9 Coun. Anna Hopkins added.

In response to Turner’s concerns, Ward 5 Coun. Maureen Cassidy asked city staff to reiterate the intended impact of the housing by-law.

“We heard from our City Housing Manager that he feels this will have a positive impact on affordability,” Deputy City Manager Scott Mathers responded.

“Perhaps not at the lowest affordability levels, but would benefit many Londoners looking for accommodation.”

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All councilors except Turner and Ward 1 Coun. Michael van Holst voted to pass the settlement, while Ward 4 Coun. Jesse Helmer has recused himself from voting because he has rented out his house on Airbnb in the past.

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City explores regulations for short-term rentals

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