Level the field for short-term rentals

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - OPINION -

I am writ­ing to ex­press my con­cern about short-term rentals, and its ef­fects on com­mu­ni­ties and the lodg­ing in­dus­try.

Home-shar­ing ap­peals to cer­tain trav­ellers and to home­own­ers want­ing to boost their in­come. Plat­forms that sup­port short-term rentals, like Airbnb, main­tain that the rev­enue gen­er­ated helps peo­ple to stay in their own homes. But they are cor­po­ra­tions that en­cour­age real es­tate in­vestors who op­er­ate short-term rentals on a com­mer­cial scale. This cre­ates con­flicts in neigh­bour­hoods by op­er­at­ing with­out re­gard for zon­ing; neg­a­tively af­fects neigh­bours’ en­joy­ment of their prop­er­ties as a re­sult of in­creased noise, garbage, de­mand for park­ing, and par­ty­ing; neg­a­tively af­fects neigh­bours’ prop­erty val­ues; and jeop­ar­dizes pub­lic safety by in­creas­ing the risk of crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.

The Saskatchewan Ho­tel & Hospi­tal­ity As­so­ci­a­tion be­lieves that any­one op­er­at­ing a short-term ren­tal busi­ness should be lim­ited to prin­ci­pal res­i­dences only, reg­is­tered and com­ply with mu­nic­i­pal by­laws and be li­censed.

While we sup­port a home­owner oc­ca­sion­ally rent­ing a room, we do not sup­port in­di­vid­u­als act­ing as com­mer­cial oper­a­tors and not be­ing sub­ject to the same reg­u­la­tions and taxes as ho­tels.

Jim Bence, pres­i­dent and CEO Saskatchewan Ho­tel & Hospi­tal­ity As­so­ci­a­tion

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