Short term rentals in Niagara-On-The-Lake given one last chance to get up to date

Niagara-On-The-Lake Council will be giving bed and breakfast owners one last chance to get their paperwork up to date.

Previously, a lengthy list of approximately 50 short term rentals were facing the revocation of their licence for failure to pay their licensing fees or present updated insurance documents. 

The original list has been significantly reduced with only 14 businesses still outstanding.

A motion to give the remaining B&Bs 30 more days to respond passed, but not everyone was in favour.

Councillor Erwin Weins was notably fired up during the discussion.

"If these people can't do the simplest thing, they're running one business, and if it's not important enough for them to follow through and do what they're supposed to do to get the stuff done, then why is it our problem to start sending them letters and emails and begging them to do this?"

Councillor Allan Bisback also spoke up during the discussion, saying it could be a record setting year if the outstanding locations all lose their licenses.

"In the last week I've received I think 27 phone calls, many people from Florida, very confused on what our processes are in this town. And they're confused because I think there has been a lot of practice going on in many years. That practice gets confused with policy. I've got bed and breakfasts that say, 'Well we didn't think we had to renew our license until we came back in the spring and started up again. Well, we didn't think we had to do this until we got back and sent our insurance in. We always send our insurance in late - we've done it for years!'"

Bisback said he supported revoking licenses but asked staff to make one more point of contact and suggested there may be a process issue.

Emails will be sent out to the remaining outstanding short term rental owners.