Ontario needs to take a…

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Ontario needs to take a closer look at short term rental properties. A lot of townships are listening to a small population of people who are elitists and frankly racists.

I happen to own a home in Tiny, ON. It was the only way that my husband and I could participate in the real-estate market. We are one of thousands of couples that are in the same boat that media wrote about many times. Both of us work for a technology company and make good living, but despite that we simply couldn't participate in owning property where we wanted in the city. The impossible real-estate prices, maintenance fees and not to mention excessive taxes made it impossible to own property in the city. We continue to rent a condo in the city close to work, in Toronto. The only way we could maintain the property outside the city is by renting it out occasionally when we were not able to be use it ourselves, given that we now have two homes to maintain. Township of Tiny, like many others, have decided abruptly, unethically and for completely unjustifiable and unverifiable reasons to put a stop to short term rentals.

There has been a small population, we are talking at best a dozen people, who have been consistently complaining about alleged noise, which actually has has never been verified, and have continued to harass owners and renters. The areas of Ontario that have beaches naturally are busier and louder during the summer, and 100% of the time when I have experienced excessive noise, it was from owners in the area not the renters.

Township of Tiny is imposing hefty licensing fees, strict requirements for short term rentals and requires excessive amount of personal information to be exposed to the public. Township has in matter of months pushed through a by-law that is serving to only a handful of people, but gravely impacts a much larger population and many will not be able to continue to own their homes. Majority of the owners that rent out their homes like us, are hard working immigrant families, who are trying to participate in the real estate market or secure a retirement, as many will solely depend on government pensions. None of the owners that are resorting to short term rentals are some moguls who are taking advantage of the system

While I can appreciate that some rules should be in place for safety and well-being of every owner, the latest bylaw does not serve this purpose and is purely introduced to deter anyone from short term rentals.

These types of actions are unfortunately too hasty and really not thought through.

This bylaw is not only detrimental to the owners who have to occasionally use their homes for short term rentals, but also for the entire community. I have owned this property for 5 years, and I know that we have contributed a great deal to the community in providing jobs for cleaners, contractors, lawn care businesses, etc. In addition to that, the near by town of Midland has become a lot more vibrant and draws far more tourist spending year round. Midland's famous Butter Tart festival benefits a great deal from people being able to stay in the area affordably. Further more, all the farms in the area benefit from increased traffic of tourists.

I can appreciate that housing is a complex problem, but when people get creative about solving this problem and then government steps in and simply makes it impossible, it is difficult. The township has spent $50k hiring a firm (from US, not even a Canadian firm) to hunt down all properties used for short term rentals. No council members ever wanted to meet with short term renters, or understand the benefit we bring to the community. The council is so corrupt that we didn't get our voting ballots for the recent election but they were sure enough to send us letters with threats of hefty fines.

While I can appreciate that in theory local governing bodies should have a better understanding of their communities, it seems like they need some guidance from higher levels of government