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Politics

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

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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.

Matt Lee explains the legalities of turning rental properties into Airbnb services
Matt Lee explains the legalities of turning rental properties into Airbnb services