February 13, 2024

DRAFT Short Term Rental Licensing By-law comments for Meeting February 13, 2024

Good morning.

My name is Liz Denyar.

In answer to the question being asked of every presenter, other than being a neighbour of several Short Term Rental properties, I have no other experience. I do not own a rental property.

This morning, I represent the Muskoka Ratepayers’ Association.

The Muskoka Ratepayers’ Association submitted written comments on the Short Term Rental Licensing By-law to staff and Council prior to the July 2023 meeting. Basically, our position has not changed. The following are a few additional comments.

We have felt that the situation that elicited the most complaints was with groups who rent for the weekend, during the summer, for the sole purpose of partying. As a result, we were very pleased to see that the draft by-law now included a minimum rental of 7 consecutive nights in the summer and 3 consecutive nights in the other seasons.

We agree that a short term rental of 14 days or less once a year should not be considered in the Short Term Rental By-law.

The draft by-law as it stands now would be costly for the Township to administer. Also, enforcement of this by-law would be next to impossible.

We question the rationale of limiting rentals to 50% of the time. That could mean some properties might sit empty for 50% of the year. Isn’t that counterproductive to any economic development initiatives which should encourage people to visit our Township and spend their money in our restaurants, shops, grocery stores, and marinas?

We recommend that the “Be Friendly Be Courteous Code of Conduct” the one on the Law Enforcement website page NOT the one attached to this by-law be printed and handed to every owner with their license.  Its all there: noise, garbage, fire safety, parking, etc. Everything a renter needs to know. It is reasonable and common sense unlike the “Renters Code of Conduct”. In fact, some owners might benefit from this as well.

Even so, we acknowledge that it is impossible to control behaviour, so we recommend again that some by-laws such as parking and noise be tightened end up and the Administrative Monetary Penalty System be enforced.

We strongly encourage the Township to pass a by-law that is enforceable.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment again on this by-law.