The popularity of apps like Airbnb and Vrbo has made it easier than ever for property owners to rent out space on a short-term basis at daily or weekly rates to visitors seeking a place to stay at a competitive rate.
Those seeking homes to rent long-term have also been affected. The ease of offering short-term accommodations online has had an impact on the availability and affordability of long-term rentals across the country. This makes short-term accommodationsa going concern in a city with a 0.7 per cent vacancy rate – the lowest vacancy rate in Ontario.
Short-term rentals can also affect those who live near them, as they may impact parking availability and other neighbourhood concerns associated with more and different people using a property.
In November 2018, Council direct staff to create a short-term rental licensing program to regulate short-term rental businesses operating in Kingston and to implement this program in 2020.
The City is now seeking resident feedback on several potential licensing frameworks that were identified through research and consultation with other municipalities and short-term rental companies across North America.
SURVEY AND OPEN HOUSE
Residents, including those who offer or live near short-term accommodations, are encouraged to complete a survey on short-term rental licensing at www.GetInvolved.CityofKingston.ca by 4:00 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 27.
Interested residents can also find out more about this effort and offer feedback at an open house at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 20 in Memorial Hall at Kingston City Hall.
See more about this project – including background documents offering a look at short-term accommodations in Kingston and how other communities are managing them – at www.CityofKingston.ca/city-hall/projects-construction/short-term-accommodations.