Lambton Shores survey looks at booming short-term rental business
Lambton Shores wants to know the benefits and concerns of having short-term rentals in the community.
Mayor Bill Weber said it has become a big business in the municipality, especially in Grand Bend, their most popular Lake Huron resort community.
“Recently there’s been people buying properties, solely for the purpose of a commercial short-term rental business,” said Weber.
“I don’t know the number for sure, but I know there’s a lot. There’s a lot of places where people have bought a cottage and they’ll have it for two weeks and they will do a short-term rental for the rest of the summer season. So, there’s a lot of ownership with short-term rentals.”
The municipality has launched a survey to gather opinions before licensing and taxes are considered.
“Certainly looking at occupancy, fire protection safety, all of those types of issues. Cottages that were made for a family of four, are housing 12 people for a week and the septic systems have not been updated. That is something that’s going to have to be checked and maintained regularly.”
Weber said the council backed off on implementing a municipal accommodation tax [MAT] in 2020, because of the pandemic.
“We want it to be fair to the hotel association that would have to collect it, and for the short-term rentals to be licensed, so that we can collect MAT tax on everything. We will look at that again. It’s certainly something that I think would be beneficial to the municipality, to provide funding for events that are local.”
Residents can participate in the public survey online at lambtonshores.ca/ShortTermRentals until September 15.
Submissions are limited to one per household and all of the feedback will be included in a final report to council by the end of this year.
Additional stakeholder meetings, public information centres and direct communication with short-term rental property owners is also being planned this summer.