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Kawartha Lakes launches short-term rental hotline



DAN CEARNS The Standard


KAWARTHA LAKES: The City of Kawartha Lakes has officially launched its hotline to deal with residents' issues with short-term rental properties.

"If you live near a Short Term Rental in Kawartha Lakes and you've been experiencing issues such as loud parties, trespassing, violation of occupancy limits, parking issues and more, you can now report the issues at any time to our 24/7 Complaint Hotline and/or Online Form," a City of Kawartha Lakes press release, sent out on Thursday, December 7th, states.

The number to reach the hotline is 705-990-2497, and the online form can be found online at www.kawarthalakes.ca.

This hotline is part of what Aaron Sloan, the City's Manager of Municipal Law Enforcement and Licensing, described in June as a "soft rollout" to combat the issues short-term rental properties create in the municipality. The measures also include a licensing program for short-term rental properties.

"While meeting with the community to discuss what would eventually become the new Short Term Rental (STR) By-law and Licensing Program, a lot of the feedback received revolved around STR owners/operators not being held accountable for the actions of their guests or renters in real-time. We're happy to share we've launched a brand new 24/7 Hotline and online platform to help alleviate some of those concerns," Mr. Sloan said in a statement. Under the rules, short term rental properties must be licensed by January 1st, 2024. The City first started looking at issues and the possible regulation of these properties in 2017. The municipality then held a public forum in 2018, and an increasing number of complaints about short-term rental properties in 2022 followed that. Short-term rental properties can include Airbnbs and VRBOs (Vacation Rentals by Owner).

The press release explains this new tool the municipality uses not only tracks complaints, but also "tracks Short Term Rental property listings to ensure all operating [short term rentals] are either licensed or in the process of getting licensed."

An application for licensing can also be found on the Kawartha Lakes website.

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