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Kawartha Lakes council increasing the fees for bylaw officers attendance at short term rental proper

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: In response to ongoing concerns from residents about some short-term rental properties, the City of Kawartha Lakes is increasing for owners when bylaw officers are called to their property.

At a meeting on Tuesday, June 21st, Ward 3 Councillor Doug Elmslie made a motion to have the city’s fees and charges bylaw amended “with respect to the inspection fee for [the] Municipal Enforcement Officer’s attendance at short term rental” properties.

The fees now read that the first occurrence is a $112 charge, and the second occurrence is a $225 charge. If there’s a third occurrence, the charge will be $445, and a fourth occurrence will cost the homeowner $894. Any further occurrences and the fee the homeowner received previously will be doubled.

At a Committee of the Whole meeting earlier this month, councillors approved a memorandum from Ward 1 Councillor Emmett Yeo, which called for city staff to “continue to monitor and track complaints this summer” regarding these types of properties and then to craft and bring back a report early in 2023 “with budget considerations and options to regulate and license short term rentals in Kawartha Lakes.”

However, at the June 21st meeting, Councillor Elmslie felt the city should be doing more to help with this issue in the interim.

“[While] waiting until next year to get the report back, it seems that we should be doing more this year,” he said.

Councillor Elmslie added these charges show the city is “serious about doing something about these short-term rentals,” and they are properly responding to “the pain and suffering that some of our residents are going through.”

Short-term rental properties can include Airbnbs and VRBOs (Vacation Rentals by Owner).

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