Council makes a decision on Short Term Residential Rentals in the City of Kawartha Lakes
Kawartha Lakes – Council made a decision on short term residential rentals in the City of Kawartha Lakes at the August 14 Council Meeting. Council adopted the first option of the Short Term Rentals Follow Up Report to continue to monitor short term residential rentals and implement several amendments to City by-laws to enable Municipal Law Enforcement to better respond and track issues arising at these properties.
In addition, Council passed a motion that City staff continue to dialogue with residents and tax payers who experience ongoing issues with short term rentals and to monitor the effectiveness of implementing these changes with a report back to Council in the second quarter of 2019.
The changes as outlined in option one of the report include:
- Continue to respond to by-law violation complaints as per current practices and by-laws;
- Implement new processes to fully use existing legislation to address complaints;
- That the Clean and Clear By-law 2014-026, Animals By-law 2017-039, Open Air Burning By-law 2016-110, Fireworks By-Law 2007-236 and the Noise By-law 2005-25 were amended to reflect that the onus is additionally placed onto the property owner to ensure that they are taking responsibility for the activities that are occurring on the properties that they own;
- Conduct an education campaign and information sharing process to inform property owners, cottage/road associations and visitors of their responsibilities, by-laws and regulations as well as fees for repeat violations of the by-laws;
- Increase proactive enforcement of by-law violations and conduct random and focused enforcement in partnership with Police Services; and
- Municipal Law Enforcement staff continue to be available to the public, Council and other city staff as a general information resource.
Residents are encouraged to report issues at rental properties relating to by-law infractions to the City’s Municipal Law Enforcement Division. Municipal By-law officers are available Monday to Friday from 8am to 9pm and on weekends from 8am to 6:30pm. Residents can contact the City’s Municipal Law Enforcement Division at 705-324-9411 extension 1212 and leave a message to report their concerns. All calls will be answered within two business days. Residents should call emergency services to report life threatening situations such as large bonfires, people swimming or operating a motor craft while intoxicated or illegal activity taking place at the rental property.
Numerous pieces of legislation already exist to deal with many of the reported impacts resulting from short term residential rentals. The City’s enacted by-laws address matters pertaining to parking, noise, property standards, burning, animals and domestic waste disposal. Provincial law and statues exist to address alcohol/controlled substance consumption, unsafe operation of motor vehicles or watercrafts and septic issues.
Staff have also developed a tracking tool within the City’s complaint management database to track calls that are coming in specifically for rental properties.
The City’s Fee’s By-law outlines the fees that can be charged to the owner of a property for inspections by Municipal Law Enforcement staff that result in a by-law violation being found. Council approved wording changes and removed free additional inspections to the make the schedule clear that fees are only charged when a violation is found. The changes also protect owners of short term residential rental properties from vexatious complaints by including provisions that fees for service are only levied if by-law violations are found. The inspection fees schedule will allow the cost recovery of the associated inspection and fees will increase for repeat issues.
For more information, read the Short Term Residential Rentals Follow-up Report and the Short Term Residential Rentals Informational Report on the City’s website.