Staff at city hall in Port Colborne are recommending against trying to regulate short-term rentals in the city, as the cost of doing so is too burdensome.
Tracking down rentals across Airbnb, Vrbo, Meta (formerly Facebook), and all the other apps and sites which are used to rent cottages, would require a considerable amount of work. While staff were unable to put a firm figure on how many summer cottages are in the short-term-rental market, staff estimate there are more than 100 along the lakefront, with another 100 inside Sherkston Shores.
Between tracking down hundreds of rental cottages, contacting the owners, and licensing each one, the report estimates the city would need to add two more full-time staff to city hall just to handle licensing. The cost of doing so was pegged at $175,000 annually.
Even if the short-term-rental cottages are licensed, the city’s bylaw department reckons it won’t actually solve the main problem, which is noise complaints. Since 2019, bylaw has tracked 50 noise complaints to the short-term rental market.