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.
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.
“But since then, I’m starting to hear concerns in my community.”
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.
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.