The City of Kingston recently hosted a public meeting on Tuesday evening for residents to provide feedback about short-term rentals.
The city has also launched an online survey in order to get feedback from both landlords and residents on the enforcement of licensing requirements it is considering. The survey will be online until Aug. 27.
During the meeting, landlords voiced their frustrations about the survey, claiming it did not provide space for them to make suggestions.
One common concern among most of those who attended the meeting was the 180-day limit the city is proposing. This means hosts will be restricted to renting out their place of occupancy to the public for a total of 180 days out of the year.
“My main concern is the limitation of 180 days,” said Airbnb host Peter Walker.
WATCH: (Aug. 1, 2019) City of Kingston plans to add regulations to short-term rentals
“I know people who have bed and breakfasts,” Walker continued. “To suddenly limit to 180 days makes a big difference to their income and the funds that they have available to maintain their property.”
There are currently no zoning regulations or licensing bylaws in place for short-term rentals in Kingston. However, the city has proposed requirements, which include having hosts provide proof of residency, receive legal authorization and require rental operators to own a business licence.
Regulating short-term rentals will ultimately ensure safety in Kingston, which the city says is a growing concern.
On Tuesday evening, city officials explained that they believe human trafficking may be occurring through the use of Airbnbs in Kingston. They believe this to be true based on video footage which shows different people coming and going every hour through the same residence.
The supervisor of licencing and enforcement for the city, Kyle Compeau, says, “The biggest thing is, we’re trying to look farther into Airbnbs, illegal rent, illegal units and the basic concerns that people have.”
The feedback provided by the public will move the city one step forward in how it plans to approach finalizing licencing short term rentals.