New Rules For Short-Term Rentals In Orillia

Courtesy of Ian MacLennanPublished: Sep 12th, 2023 10:59amLast Updated: Sep 12th, 2023 1:11pm

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The City of Orillia has joined a list of Ontario municipalities trying to address concerns about short-term rental (STR) accommodations.

Among the measures that will roll out on Jan. 1, 2024, all STR operators will be required to obtain an annual licence from the city at a cost of $2,000.

“This will enable the municipality to monitor and manage the short-term rental market in Orillia with a cap of 150 operating short-term rental accommodations at one time. The licensing will help ensure compliance with regulations and establish a clear process for addressing issues and complaints using a demerit point system to assist with enforcement,” the city stated in a news release on Tuesday.

Residents will be able to report concerns to the city, which will investigate and take appropriate action in response to non-compliance with the regulations.

“Orillia Council has approved regulations for short-term rental accommodations that are meant to strike a balance between supporting our local tourism industry while ensuring responsible hosting, safe accommodations and the livability of our neighbourhoods,” said Mayor Don McIsaac. “We heard from residents that short-term rentals were becoming an issue in Orillia, and I believe that this is an appropriate solution.”

To further promote the local tourism industry, the new by-law will require STR providers to collect a Municipal Accommodation Tax.

The city says the measures are being put in place to ensure the safety and well-being of both guests and surrounding residents. This includes measures such as fire safety regulations, noise control and adequate insurance coverage.

With the passage of the new by-law at Monday’s city council meeting, funding was approved for compliance monitoring software and hiring a full-time staff member to begin next month to build and administer the program and to enforce the new by-law once it is in effect.

“Staff reviewed short-term rental accommodation regulations at numerous municipalities to learn what has worked best to help build our approach for implementation in Orillia,” said Shawn Crawford, Director of Legislative, Building, Parking and Transit Services. “Once we have the appropriate staff member hired later this year, the city will be reaching out to short-term rental accommodation operators in Orillia to raise awareness about the regulations and requirement for licensing beginning in 2024.”

The city says until the new by-law comes into effect, municipal law enforcement officers as well as the police will continue to enforce the by-laws currently in place that regulate various issues related to short-term rental accommodations such as noise, dogs at large, parking, garbage accumulation, and open-air burning. 

Patricia Dent

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