It’s business as usual for Callander’s short-term renters.
Callander council has decided to hold off on creating a by-law to regulate short-term rentals in the municipality. Most of the complaints that could arise from these rentals, such as loud noise or parking issues, are already covered by existing by-laws, so adding another would be very time-consuming and perhaps redundant, council reasoned.
“Your house is your biggest asset,” Councillor Mike Dell noted, “and I do think that an individual should be able to rent their house if they are away for a month or so.” However, he was not in favour of a business coming in and buying homes for the sole reason of renting on a short-term basis.
Dell also raised the concern that monitoring websites such as Airbnb and Vrbo, where many of these rentals are listed, would be too taxing on staff, who would be “chasing ghosts,” keeping tabs on all the postings.
Currently, there are about 30 short-term rentals operating within the municipality. Those are the ones municipal staff found on the popular listing sites, and there could be more. However, as Callander’s Senior Municipal Director, Ashley Bilodeau pointed out, “we have had no formal complaints” about any of these operations.
“I think it’s a large task to undertake for the municipality at this time,” Mayor Robb Noon said. “It will be time-consuming, it will be costly, and there’s so much up in the air from governments above us on this topic, that I think we should let it lie for now.”
The municipality may make changes in the future, and the topic might return in a couple of months when council discusses Callander’s strategic plan, but for now, the status-quo remains.
David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.