Everyone in Ottawa who wants to host a device on Airbnb or a similar short-term rental platform must now have permission from the city and must follow a stricter set of guidelines after the council on Wednesday approved a new bylaw regulating the industry in the country’s capital.
Under the new regime, hosts are limited to renting out their primary residences only. Operators must use a permit from the city to validate their address, although some cottages in rural areas will be exempt from the primary residence rule.
The rules are an attempt to return short-term rentals to the city’s housing stock, ban so-called “ghost hotels” and reduce noise complaints in connection with party houses rented on platforms such as Airbnb.
Airbnb hosts are looking for long term renters
Violators – both guests and hosts – will be fined up to $ 100,000 per person. Violation of the law, and operators can have their permits revoked.
The statute is part of a three-year pilot who could see the rules revised at the end of this period.
The city council discussed an amendment from city council members Diane Deans and Riley Brockington that sought to limit the number of people who had to sleep overnight in a rental unit to eight, down from the proposed 16 adults or 32 children.
Deans said the issue of overcrowding in residential areas had surfaced in her department, where entire sports teams or dance troupes of children and their chaperones have stayed in individual units when in town for a tournament or other event.
Summer towns in the Peterborough area are preparing for yet another uncertain tourist season
Instead, she suggested that these groups should stay in city hotels in areas designed to accommodate these numbers.
Some pushed back against Dean and Brockington’s tight cap, with Innes Coun. Laura Dudas pointed out that her and her sister’s families could not draw a single unit together under the councilors’ proposal.
Rideau-Goulbourn Coun. Scott Moffatt, whose family counts seven alone, said the proposal’s ceiling of eight people “discriminates against large families.”
“If I have two more children, I’m sorry,” Moffatt said. “It’s silly.”
Kanata South Coun. Allan Hubley found a degree of compromise that prompted Deans and Borckington to move the proposed cap to 10, but Moffatt and Osgoode Coun. George Darouze disagreed with the proposal.
Airbnb customers are struggling to get their administration fee refunded
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.