Alnwick-Haldimand Township council approves final tweaks on short-term rental bylaws


A short term rental for Rice Lake placed on a website.


After over a year of tweaking, Alnwick-Haldimand Township council finalized its short-term rental bylaw at its June 25 meeting.

In the spring of 2023, the controversial bylaw was opposed by residents and business owners. Residents were upset about the noise and other offences at some short-term rental properties, and business owners felt the original bylaw was too restrictive and unfair.

It was sent back to staff, and an ad hoc committee was formed to review it. After several iterations, the bylaw returned and was approved by council in November 2023. It took effect on April 1, 2024.

Short-term rentals will be permitted to operate if they obtain a licence from the Township and comply with the regulations in the bylaw. However, if a property owner is found to be in non-compliance and violates the amended rules, they will face serious consequences, including administrative penalties and/or revocation of the licence.

However, further amendments were introduced as staff grappled with issues of enforcement, fees, and penalties. Changes were made and brought forward to council. One change includes the ability of bylaw officers, fire, and building inspectors to have discretion when to review properties that could violate various codes.

Mayor John Logel said this provides sufficient flexibility for officials to pursue problem property owners while leaving alone those who are meeting standards. It also means that if there are many short-term rental properties, staff can inspect them every two to three years rather than every year.


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