Licences are now required for owners of short-term rental accommodations in East Hawkesbury.

On January 9, township council approved a bylaw which regulates accommodations such as Airbnb and Vrbo. The decision to regulate the accommodations followed complaints from residents living near certain properties who alleged there were issues with noise and overcrowding. A public consultation took place in November 2022 which allowed residents and rental property owners to provide feedback on the proposed bylaw.

“I think with the changes that have been made, I am prepared to accept this,” said Deputy Mayor Jacques Tranchemontagne.

Rules and consequences

The bylaw requires accommodation owners to obtain a licence from the township to operate their business. However, licences will be denied to accommodation owners if they are legally indebted to the township, the accommodation is in violation of the property standards bylaw, fire, and electrical codes, or if a certificate of proof is not provided every three years demonstrating the well water is safe to drink.

If there is more than one dwelling unit on a property available for short-term rental, each dwelling unit requires a licence. The licences may be revoked for varying periods of time for violation of the bylaw.

Accommodation owners are required under the new bylaw to provide proof of insurance for short-term rental use, and a fire safety plan for the dwelling.

Under the new bylaw, occupancy of short-term rental accommodations in East Hawkesbury is limited to two people per bedroom. The licence number must be included in all advertising for short-term rental dwellings. Municipal by-law enforcement reserves the right to inspect short-term rental properties at any time.

Licences for short-term rental properties in East Hawkesbury cost $1,000 and the permit is valid for three years. Fines for violation of the bylaw range from $200 to $500, depending on the number and  type of infraction.