Windsor Cautiously Looks at Regulating Home Sharing Service

The City of Windsor is moving forward slowly on the idea of regulating home sharing services like Airbnb.

Ward 6 Councillor Jo-Anne Gignac initially asked in 2017 about whether the city should have a way to regulate those businesses.

Ward 3 Councillor Rino Bortolin says there's no need to restrict home sharing.

"This is adding layers of red tape when we don't need it," says Bortolin. "We have multiple events here different times of the year where we are at capacity for our hotels.  Air BnB just gives another option for great owners to be hospitable and give different options for people travelling."

Ward 2 Councillor Fabio Costante says the city has to have some way to control these businesses.

"I think this is not an issue of bureaucracy or red tape," admits Costante. "I think this is an issue of enforcement, safety and property standards.  It's not unlike residential rental licenses for example. The idea that our by-law inspectors and property standards inspectors can't enter the premises without the consent of the owner for me is difficult to swallow."

Gignac says the city needs to have some way to regulate rentals.

"We should acknowledge that it's not just Air BnB, that there will be other instances that perhaps don't have as rigorous a standard in regard to advertising available rooms," says Gignac. "I think we should have licensing rentals too.  I think there is a safety aspect that we have to acknowledge and move forward with."

City administration is recommending Windsor not take action on creating regulations until a legal action involving Airbnb and Toronto is resolved.