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LETTER: Not all short-term rentals cause problems

'STRs do create a service by bringing tourists to a region,' says area short-term rental operator
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I operate a successful, licensed short-term rental (STR) on Rama Road in Ramara Township using the Airbnb platform. Our cottage can accommodate up to six guests total.

We have never had any problems with our guests (minimum two-day booking) or neighbours. Our closest neighbour is about 80 feet away.

We vet our customers before they arrive and don’t rent in a half-hour radius unless they have a real good reason that I am convinced they would be OK.

I personally don’t think STRs should be allowed to operate in densely populated residential zones with housing side by side and more than six guests. There’s more risk for loud parties with more guests than six.

I also don’t think there should be any blanket solutions in regulating STRs as there are many good, controlled, licensed operations. Also, different dynamics with varying properties (e.g. parking, bedrooms, property size and privacy, etc.).

I personally think that problem STRs should just have their licence revoked or at the very least enforce any bylaws in place with warnings, escalating fines, etc.

STRs do create a service by bringing tourists to a region, which in turn supports those local businesses. Some regions like Ramara just don’t have the hotel/motel capacity to accommodate tourists for any length of time. They need STRs.

I also don’t believe that the government should dictate how a homeowner uses their property as long as all bylaws are adhered to.

STRs are a good thing for a region overall — good for the owner, the guest, the local economy.

Brian Richard Fairman