The Town of Huntsville’s short term rental accommodation program is well underway.

Mayor Karin Terziano tells the newsroom the program started in July with the goal of getting all short-term accommodations in the town licensed. “It was something we had hoped to get fully in place this year,” she says. While the COVID-19 caused a bit of a delay in getting it started, she says 30 to 40 short-term accommodations have been licensed by the town.

“All short-term accommodators in Huntsville need to be licensed by the town in order to operate,” she says.

The program is being done it make sure they’re all operating safely and by the rules set by the town and province. The licensing process includes drawings of the rental unit – such as a site plan – be submitted to the town and a site inspection to ensure everything is to the town’s standards. 

As part of the program, a four-percent municipal accommodation tax will now be added to all short-term rental bookings. 

Since the program has started, Terziano says they have run into an issue with short-term rentals on flood planes. She says they aren’t able to be licensed by the town. The issue was discussed at the town’s council meeting on Wednesday. “We’re trying to figure out a way to address those rental units,” she says. 

“The goal was to have everyone licensed by the end of the year, but that’s not going to happen,” she says. She says town staff estimate there are 300 short-term accommodations in Huntsville. On top of those that have already been licensed, Terziano says there are some applications backlogged, but there are many that have not submitted an application. Short-term accomodators can submit their application online

The project will continue until all short-term rentals in Huntsville are licensed.