A short-term rental licencing by-law will take effect in Gravenhurst in January 2023.
The by-law approved by council will require all short-term rental accommodations to get an annual license from the town. It will also be required that the operators give town staff contact information so they can get ahold of them in the case of a by-law contravention or emergency.
Town staff will be able to refuse a license and will have the ability to conduct site visits for “enforcement-related matters.”
A code of conduct must also be signed by renters.
Town staff say the program will be finalized in the late summer or early fall. It won’t be known until then how much the license will cost or what the application requirements will be.
“In the meantime, there are a variety of other municipal by-laws that are in place to address many of the behaviours that have been described as problematic,” said Kristen Ford-Bickers, Manager of By-law Services. “These by-laws include those related to open burning, noise, parking, property standards, dark sky lighting, site alteration and site plan control. We will continue enforcement of these by-laws”
An Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) will also be initiated by the town. It will give them the power to enforce compliance with regulatory requirements instead of having to go through the court system. “It is an effective, quick, clear and tangible way for regulators to respond to infractions,” said Ford-Bickers.
The AMPS program is also expected to come into effect in January 2023. Ahead of both programs being implemented, town staff say they will provide consistent updates to residents.
“We’ve heard from the community that we would greatly benefit from this new licensing platform; it would help ensure compliance of accompanying by-laws and most importantly promote being a good neighbour,” said Mayor Paul Kelly. “I think that is the most important element, mutual respect so that we can all enjoy our surroundings.”