News / Toronto

Mississauga sees surge in short-term rentals

The 905 city saw a 227 per cent increase in short-term rental listings between May 2015 and May 2016.

Toronto is also grappling with short-term rentals, city consultations on possible regulations are supposed to kick-off in 2017.

Torstar News Service file / Torstar News Service Order this photo

Toronto is also grappling with short-term rentals, city consultations on possible regulations are supposed to kick-off in 2017.

Facing an explosion of residents renting on Airbnb, Mississauga is looking to possibly regulate the short-term rental market.

City staff have been tasked with consulting with the public before coming back to council with recommended regulations this fall.

Travellers seeking accommodation in the 905 can currently browse 525 active listings on Airbnb.

There was a whopping 227 per cent increase in listings between May 2015 and May 2016 alone, according to a new report by city staff.

“We know that it’s probably here to stay,” Coun. Karen Ras said of the short-term rentals trend.

Residents have come to her with problems, Ras said, like one house rented out for parties that was plagued with complaints about garbage, noise and septic tank issues.

She’s also concerned short-term rentals could take a bite out of affordable housing.

As a result Ras supports some form of regulation, like allowing people to rent out space in their own homes, but stopping short of permitting the rental of entire properties.

Airbnb has repeatedly stated to Metro News that it supports “creating fair, sensible rules for home sharing” regulation.

In an emailed statement to Metro News, Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie said the city  “must adapt” to the shared economy, and find solutions “that balance the popular demands of consumers who use these services, while safeguarding and standing up for local taxpayers.”

The Crombie family owns one property rented on Airbnb, the statement added, but it’s outside of Mississauga. Her office did not response to further questions about its location.

Thorben Wieditz, who has been a vocal advocate for regulating short-term rentals with a coalition called Fairbnb, said he is concerned that the report does not talk about “platform accountability.”

He would like to see sites such as Airbnb, not cities, tasked with policing regulations.

“If you don’t go that extra step then even the most well- thought-out regulations will create an enforcement nightmare,” said Wieditz, a researcher with Unite Here Local 75.

 

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