It appears that no one is happy with Tiny Township’s new short-term rental licensing bylaw.
Both short-term rental operators and those who have been complaining about short-term rentals have a variety of concerns with the document that was approved by council Aug. 10.
“The way the bylaw is now, it is not going to be feasible for the vast majority of small-time family operators like me to continue to operate,” said Aiden Black-Allen, a Sarnia resident who owns a cottage in Tiny.
Black-Allen rents out her cottage five to six weeks a year in order to bring in some additional income, which her family has come to rely on. She said the restrictiveness and costs associated with the licensing program are going to make it difficult for her to continue.
Licences will only be awarded to individuals, not corporations.
Licensees will then be subject to a variety of restrictions including: being limited to renting for a maximum of 92 days in a calendar year; minimum six-day rentals between April 15 and Oct. 15; only one rental every six-day period between Oct. 16 and April 14; two renters per bedroom to a maximum of 10 and more.
Dan Wood, a Balm Beach resident who rents out his father-in-law’s Tiny Township property, is baffled by the restrictiveness of the bylaw.
In his opinion, the township already has an extensive fire bylaw, restrictive parking bylaw and enhanced noise bylaw, in addition to the criminal code, at their disposal.
“What we have is an enforcement problem,” said Wood. “It’s not that there aren’t enough rules, it’s that the rules we have aren’t being fully enforced.”
Jennifer and Jurgen Hierholzer, who live next door to an extremely active Airbnb, are also worried about enforcement.
“Who is in charge of the 92-day limit? Do I have to count? How will they keep track of who is really renting? Is it family? Is it friends? It is an impossible task,” said Jennifer.
Tiny plans to hire additional staff and work with a third-party company to implement the bylaw.