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Here's how many short-term rental properties in Ottawa have a permit

The Airbnb app icon is displayed on an iPad screen in Washington, D.C., on May 8, 2021. Airbnb Inc. reports quarterly financial results on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File) The Airbnb app icon is displayed on an iPad screen in Washington, D.C., on May 8, 2021. Airbnb Inc. reports quarterly financial results on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Bylaw Services removed 787 listings from Airbnb in the first year of Ottawa's short-term rental bylaw, which only allows property owners to rent out their primary homes.

A new report for the Emergency and Protective Services Committee says the city has issued just over 800 short-term permits for properties in Ottawa, while Airbnb registered at least 12 property management firms or individual managers.

The memo, written by Bylaw Services Director Roger Chapman, says the city refused permits to 46 applicants for various reasons during the first year, "most often because the property is not the applicant's primary residence or because it is not zoned accordingly."

"Generally, the permitting regime has been functioning as intended and many property owners have been forthcoming and have applied for a permit," Chapman says in the memo.

"Hosts with various properties and those applying for properties that are not their principal residence are being denied permits at the time of application. As a result, some of these property owners are shifting to offering longer term rentals, thereby increasing the available housing supply."

The city implemented the Short-Term Rental Bylaw in June 2022, with staff saying the regulations would help manage community nuisance issues arising from short-term rental activity and "protect housing inventory for residential use." The bylaw requires property owners to obtain a permit, which costs $110 for two years, if they planned on renting out their principal residence or part of a residential unit for a period of less than 30 days.

"Although there are over 1,300 Airbnb listings, it is important to note that there is not a one-to-one relationship between hosts and listings," Chapman says.

"Many hosts use multiple listings for the same property to get more exposure and views, or to advertise individual rooms as well as a listing for the whole dwelling. In addition, some listings are for rentals over 30 days, which do not require a host permit under the bylaw and some are not actually within the geographic boundaries of the City of Ottawa."

The memo says Bylaw Services enforcement of the short-term rental bylaw includes "thorough investigations by officers," monitoring the platform and removing non-compliant listings from Airbnb.

"In total, 787 listings have been removed from the platform and 248 charges have been issued by way of Part III summons," the memo states.

Bylaw Services officials told CTV News Ottawa on Friday the charges "relate largely to operating without a permit," with a justice determining the penalty if the defendant is convicted.

Prior to the launch of the Short-Term Rental Bylaw, an individual analysis commissioned by the city indicated that there could be as many as 1,236 dedicated short-term rentals operating in the city. Chapman says the current data indicates that there are two permitted dedicated short-term rentals and 23 permitted cottage rentals.

"A small number of properties also remain under investigation as suspected illicit dedicated short-term rentals. However, surveillance data suggests that there are fewer than 200 properties that may be operating outside of the scope of the bylaw," Chapman said.

"These early results indicate that that the Short-Term Rental Bylaw can effectively protect housing inventory for residential use."

Between June 30, 2022 and June 30, 2023, there were 1,162 bylaw service requests associated with permitted short-term rental locations. Statistics show 148 noise complaints, 92 property standards complaints and 15 service requests for on-site parking.

"Overall, 43 per cent of short-term rental properties had no associated complaints. A single service request was received at 37 per cent of addresses, which in some cases included the inspection for the permit, and 20 per cent had more than one associated service request," Chapman writes.

The city of Ottawa's Short-Term Rental Bylaw's temporary zoning amendments are in place for three years, with the city set to review the new rules in 2024.

"Overall, the Short-Term Rental regulatory regime has been operating as intended, following one year of implementation," Chapman writes.

"There has been some decline in community nuisance issues, and an increasing number are reverting to long-term rentals due to the principal residence requirement, thus improving the available housing supply. Prior to this regulatory regime, these rentals would likely have been used as short-term accommodations only."

The report does warn the administration and enforcement of the short-term rental rules are "resource-intensive and time-consuming," and a further review of staffing issues will be required to "render the regime sustainable and effective." Top Stories

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