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Barrie councillor wants more regulation for short-term rentals

Councillors hold a Community Safety Committee meeting on Tues. Feb. 6, 2024 (CTV News/Dana Roberts). Councillors hold a Community Safety Committee meeting on Tues. Feb. 6, 2024 (CTV News/Dana Roberts).
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The City of Barrie is looking at options for regulating short-term rentals.

During Tuesday's sitting of the Community Safety Committee, Councillor Bryn Hamilton's item of discussion passed. It calls for staff to look into ways to address some of the mounting concerns she hears from residents.

"Short-term rentals are becoming more of a concern as we hear from residents about consistent, problematic properties with absentee homeowners and weekend partyers," the Ward 10 councillor said to CTV News.

According to Hamilton, the City of Barrie currently has approximately 350 short-term rentals, with just nine complaints registered last year.

However, Hamilton says that data could be more accurate.

"The most frequent concerns are noise and/or fire-related, so would go through to [the] Barrie Police Service or Barrie Fire and are therefore not captured by the city and not easily accessible," she said. "The reality is the city's data is not an accurate depiction of the issues residents are experiencing when it comes to short-term party rentals."

As part of Hamilton's push, the Barrie Police Service will be requested to report back to the committee on any options for a tiered response to address complaints, specifically if there are multiple ones for a similar property.

The push to regulate short-term rentals has come up in many municipalities in Ontario in recent years. Hamilton says there's much to learn from how other cities tackle the issue. Some ideas include a new tax, a registry and engaging with platforms like AirBnB for complaints.

The item will now move its way through different council levels for more approval before staff begin their work.  

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