Severn Township Wants A Unified Approach From The County When It Comes To Short-Term Rental Accommodations

Mayor Mike Burkett says a unified response might be better than individual responses from municipalities

Rather than acting alone, Severn Township wants Simcoe County Council to develop a unified approach to the issue of short-term rental accommodations.

A number of municipalities in the County are struggling to come up with their own policy to deter those who rent their properties, often for large sums of money in quiet neighbourhoods, that end up turning into party houses.

Mayor Mike Burkett says all of us are struggling with short term rentals and what the solution is.

“Renters are paying huge money and it becomes a party house until four or five in the morning with no regard for the neighbours at all. It’s very frustrating.”

Severn Township council has passed a resolution asking the County to facilitate an education/sharing of information session for all of its municipalities looking to regulate short-term rentals, rather than individual municipalities working on individual solutions.

In Severn, there is an interim control bylaw that prevents any new short-term rentals.

Burkett says 90 per cent of short-rental accommodations are not a problem and the issue they are dealing with is isolated in nature. But the mayor says neighbours are looking to the township to try and stop it.

Burkett says licencing short-term rentals likely won’t work because there will be some bad apples that won’t be affected. He says they will pay the fine and carry one.

Burkett doesn’t dispute the fact legislation regarding short-term rental accommodations might have to come from the top, such as the provincial government, but he says a unified approach at the County level would be a start.

The mayor will raise the issue at Wednesday’s county council meeting.

Airbnb announced in early November it was banning ‘party houses’ after a deadly shooting at a home in California. The company said it would expand manual screenings of “high risk” reservations.