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City of London to seek regulations on short-term rentals

The City of London is proposing regulations for short-term rentals, including those listed on sites like Airbnb and HomeAway. Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A recently approved plan from city council may shape the future of services like Airbnb and HomeAway in London.

On Tuesday, city councillors voted to seek regulations on short-term rentals that are arranged through the aforementioned platforms.

There are currently no regulations on short-term rentals in the city, nor do they fall under the provincial transient accommodation tax, which adds a four per cent cost to hotels in London.

READ MORE: London councillor wants city to review regulations for short-term rentals

The push to seek regulations was led by Ward 9 Coun. Anna Hopkins, who reminded fellow councillors on Tuesday that the idea was previously considered but later dropped in January.

“For those who were not on council last time, we received a report a couple years ago, and at that time, there wasn’t too much of a concern,” Hopkins said.

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Hopkins cited constituent concerns, saying short-term rentals that are not owner-occupied are changing communities, taking away homes amid London’s housing crisis and can lead to large parties.

READ MORE: Wild student party at rented home causes $80K damage

The plan to seek regulations garnered a 13-0 approval from city councillors.

Ward 1 Coun. Michael van Holst was absent from Tuesday’s meeting as he continued his bid for the London-Fanshawe riding as a Conservative candidate in the federal election. Meanwhile, deputy mayor and Ward 4 Coun. Jesse Helmer recused himself from the vote, declaring a conflict on the matter for having rented his home via Airbnb.

City staff is now tasked with reporting back to council on potential regulations that may be imposed on short-term rentals, along with an update on the status of short-term rentals in London.

Click to play video: 'Matt Lee explains the legalities of turning rental properties into Airbnb services' Matt Lee explains the legalities of turning rental properties into Airbnb services
Matt Lee explains the legalities of turning rental properties into Airbnb services – Jul 24, 2019

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